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How to Remove Plaque & Tartar Buildup at Home

Couple brushing their teeth to remove dental plaque

Are your teeth looking a bit yellowish, or maybe just a little more dull than usual? It’s possible that that’s because plaque has built up on them. Aside from affecting the appearance of your smile, plaque can also lead to cavities or gum disease if not dealt with properly. If you notice that you have dental plaque, here are some tips for removing it at home.

Tips for Removing Dental Plaque

The best tip for removing dental plaque is really the rule you should be following anyway regarding your dental health: regular brushing and flossing. When you brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, you’re preventing that plaque from making a home on your teeth.

Even though this is a simple strategy, you should be thoughtful about it to ensure the best results. When brushing your teeth, brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush for a full two minutes each time. When flossing your teeth, use around 18 inches of floss and curve it so that you’re getting underneath your gums and not just in the cracks between your teeth. With both brushing and flossing, make sure you’re paying attention to all surfaces of the tooth. This includes flossing behind your very back teeth!

Tartar Removal

While plaque and tartar are often mentioned together, they aren’t the same and removing tartar is a different story than removing plaque. Tartar is when plaque has actually hardened. It’s also called dental calculus. Unfortunately, tartar isn’t something you can get rid of on your own with brushing and flossing. Instead, you need to see a dental professional who has the special skills and tools to remove it safely.

Smiles Dental is here for anyone who needs help managing dental plaque and tartar. A professional cleaning will leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh. All of our practice locations in Oregon and Washington are judgment-free zones so please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our caring, hardworking team!

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