close up of toothbrush and floss

Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that sticks to teeth. Not only does dental plaque feed on sugar, but it erodes tooth enamel and increases your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. The best way to avoid plaque buildup is to practice good oral hygiene and schedule a dentist appointment every 6 months. Continue reading to learn how to remove plaque and tartar from teeth so you can smile with confidence. Feel free to reach out to our dentist office with any questions.

Brush and Floss Teeth

Bacteria love to live in dark moist environments—like inside your mouth. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria produce acid that erodes tooth enamel and attacks gum tissue. Plaque on teeth is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and gum disease. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. Brushing teeth removes plaque from the surface of your teeth so you can enjoy better oral health.

Schedule a Dental Checkup

The best way to remove plaque from teeth is to schedule a dental checkup every 6 months. During your teeth cleaning appointment, a dental hygienist will be able to gently scrape away plaque with a tool called a scaler. While you can remove most plaque at home, a dental hygienist uses special tools to reach plaque hiding in between teeth and along the gum line. A dental hygienist is also able to remove hardened plaque (tartar).

Once plaque hardens into tartar, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your local dentist. You can’t remove tartar from teeth on your own. If you have tartar teeth, you’ll want to schedule a dentist appointment as soon as possible. Tartar buildup increases your risk of cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.

There are ways your dentist can help you prevent plaque and tartar buildup. For example, if you have deep divots and grooves in back teeth, your dentist may recommend dental sealants. A tooth sealant helps prevent cavities caused by plaque buildup.

Re-Evaluate Your Oral Hygiene Routine

If you aren’t having any luck with plaque removal after following our tips, ask yourself if you’re doing everything you can to protect your oral health. For example, many patients don’t brush their teeth long enough to remove plaque. Most dentists agree that it should take at least 2 minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Also, make sure that you’re not neglecting back teeth during your oral hygiene routine.

If you aren’t already, it’s a good idea to use a mouthwash containing fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth by giving enamel much-needed minerals. The acids in plaque aren’t able to erode teeth as easily once they’re fortified with fluoride. Swishing mouthwash also helps rinse away debris from brushing and flossing.

Our Westerville dentists are dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health by removing plaque and tartar buildup. To schedule a dental cleaning appointment, call Westerville Dental Associates at (614) 882-1135.