Plaque and Calculus

Posted by Legacy Dental Clinic Feb 15, 2023

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Plaque and calculus are types of bacteria that form on your teeth. They can cause cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a sticky, colorless substance that’s made up of bacteria, saliva and food debris that builds up on your teeth throughout the day. This buildup can lead to gum disease if left untreated. In addition to brushing twice a day and flossing daily, there are other steps you can take to help reduce your risk of plaque buildup. These include reducing your intake of sugary food and drinks, avoiding foods that stick to your enamel such as hard candies, and avoiding tobacco products. Good oral hygiene habits not only keep your smile healthy, they can also save you time and money by avoiding costly dental procedures in the future.

What is Calculus?

Calculus forms when plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth. Over time, plaque, the hardened form of this soft material will become tartar or calculus. This hard substance can irritate the gums and make brushing more difficult. It can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay because it leads to more places for bacteria and food to get stuck. Cleaning your teeth well at home will help to prevent the formation of calculus, but if you have already developed it, your dentist can eliminate it with a professional cleaning.

You can prevent the development of plaque and calculus by maintaining a thorough oral hygiene routine at home and visiting your general dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your mouth to remove any excess plaque buildup and will inspect your oral health to determine if there are any signs of trouble. If you are showing signs of developing gingivitis, you may need more frequent appointments to keep your teeth in top shape.

How are Plaque and Calculus removed?

In addition to removing plaque and calculus from the surface of teeth, regular brushing and flossing will also stop plaque and calculus buildup before it accumulates on the surface of your teeth. Brushing and flossing are essential for healthy gums and strong teeth.

Both plaque and calculus are hardened deposits that can form on the teeth. They are difficult to remove but can be softened and removed in a dental office. One type of chemical is mouthwash, which can help remove bacteria and food particles from the mouth. Additionally, fluoride treatments can help strengthen enamel and prevent decay. Polish is another effective way to clean your teeth and remove stains caused by food and drink. This treatment gently cleans the surfaces of your teeth without damaging your enamel. 

Regular cleanings and checkups at your dentist’s office are also important in helping keep your mouth clean and free from plaque and calculus. Your dentist or hygienist will use special tools and instruments to clean your teeth and remove any substances that can damage your smile.

Book your dental exam and cleaning with Dr. Jennifer Nguyen at Legacy Dental Clinic! Located at 4224 Gateway Blvd NW Edmonton, AB. Call us at (825) 467-8888!

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4224 Gateway Blvd NW,
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