Dental Cleaning 101: Plaque and Calculus Prevention

Author: Smile Charlotte Team



Plaque vs Calculus: What’s the Difference?

 

Plaque is the soft material that can accumulate along the gum line and in between the teeth. Failure to properly remove this deposit will result in a hardening of the plaque that becomes calculus (or tartar).

 

Calculus (or tartar) is composed of bacteria that will cause infections in the oral cavity potentially leading to gum recession, bone loss, and more serious problems including tooth loss. While plaque can be easily removed with proper brushing and flossing, you cannot remove calculus on your own. Tartar must be removed by using special instruments by hygienists and dentists.   

 

How can I remove Calculus?

 

Remember, calculus cannot be removed with a toothbrush; only a dental professional can remove it during a dental cleaning.

 

Think of calculus like a splinter under your skin that you do not take out. It will cause redness and swelling as well as soreness until it is removed and calculus will do the exact same thing to your gums and bone.

 

Professional dental cleaning appointments on a regular basis will allow our team to remove these deposits, both hard and soft to prevent inflammation and infections in the oral cavity. We will prescribe a customized schedule for your cleanings. While most people can be seen twice a year, we will also see many patients every 3 or 4 months depending on their specific needs.

 

The end game is to help you get your oral health in the most optimal condition possible and keeping your calculus build up to a minimum will go a long way toward that goal.

 

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