As the saying goes: You’re never fully dressed without a smile! Of course, we all want the perfect, shiny white teeth to go with that smile. However, it might be difficult to achieve the shiny white teeth. Have you ever checked out your teeth in the mirror and seen those pesky yellow layers that just can’t be removed no matter how much care you take in brushing your teeth? Just what are these ‘yellow layers’? Well, you may have tartar on your teeth!
Plaque and tartar can both lead to a series of oral health issues, such as cavities, gum diseases, teeth decay and even loss of teeth. A lot of people have been using these two words interchangeably, but they are in fact two different conditions.
You’ve probably heard about plaque a lot, but what exactly is it? It’s a colourless, almost invisible layer of soft biofilm. It’s mostly made up of the bacteria in your mouth. Plaque buildup happens every day, and you can get rid of it by brushing thoroughly.
Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is essentially the plaque that has hardened and calcified over time. Dentists would tell you that plaque can take as short as 24 hours to become tartar. Once it’s formed, you can’t remove it by brushing. To remove tartar from teeth, you’ll need to consult your dentist for treatments.
Plaque on teeth is mostly invisible. One way to tell whether you have plaque is to run your tongue over your teeth. The plaque layer will feel fuzzy on your tongue. For some severe cases, you may notice other signs like bad breath and swollen gums (that may bleed after you brush).
If you want to actually see the dental plaque, there are products such as chewable tablets, that can reveal the plaque layer by staining it with dye.
On the other hand, having tartar on your teeth is very noticeable. If you see a hardened, yellowish coat on your teeth, you can seek advice from your dentists on removing it.
Remember, good dental hygiene goes a long way for your oral health and well-being. Take good care of your teeth. With these pearly whites, you can then enjoy the good things that come with a smile.