The best ways to get rid of tartar on the teeth

Written by katrina stackhouse
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The best ways to get rid of tartar on the teeth
Brush, rinse, and floss your way to tartar- free teeth. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

If you want to have fresh breath, the first place to start is with your teeth. Excess tartar build-up on teeth can cause a variety of problems including bad breath, gingivitis, and gum disease. If you want your teeth to look their best and their brightest, make sure you use a combination of a good toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

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Tartar

What many people call tartar, dentists refer to as plaque. Plaque is made up of bacteria that produce adhesive chemicals that can damage tooth enamel and eventually cause cavities. The best way to remove plaque is by brushing your teeth regularly and flossing. You can also help to remove plaque with pre-brush mouthwash that helps loosen it before you brush. According to Temple,Texas dentist, Stuart A. Greene, "Plaque begins forming on the teeth in as little as 4 hours after brushing. The rate at which plaque forms can vary between individuals and even between different teeth in the same mouth ."

Selecting the Right Toothbrush

If you want to get rid of excess tartar on your teeth, find the right kind of toothbrush.Toothbrushes come in a variety of styles: from the traditional hand-held brush model to the ultra-futuristic sonic wave and battery-powered toothbrush models. Additionally, toothbrushes can be purchased with soft, medium, or hard bristles. Most dentists recommend soft bristles for people with sensitive teeth and gums. For best results, brush your teeth at least twice a day. The Cleveland Clinic recommends replacing your toothbrush about every four months or when the bristles begin to look worn or frayed. If your brush bristles begin to fan out or spread, change your brush immediately. Purchase tartar-reduction toothpastes at chemists or supermarkets to further fight build-up and cavities.

Mouthwash

Generally, you can use mouthwash to help get rid out excess plaque, but mouthwash containing fluoride can also help to reduce and prevent tooth decay. Mouthwash can be used before or after brushing. Pre-rinse mouthwash works best to help loosen plaque so brushing is more effective. Other mouthwash can be used after brushing to help kill bacteria that can lead to tartar build-up and bad breath. Anti-plaque, anti-gingivitis, antibacterial, and antimicrobial mouthwash can also help inhibit the bacteria that causes gingivitis.

Dental Sealants

If you are looking for a more professional approach to help remove excess plaque on your teeth, consult with your dentist about sealants. Generally, sealants create an invisible barrier between your teeth and bacteria. According to the American Dental Association, "Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth ( premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often." Sealants must be applied by a professional, so contact your local dentist for more information about this procedure.

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