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When it comes to dentistry, there are a few terms and phrases that can be confusing. For instance, you’ve probably heard of plaque and tartar—but do you know what the differences actually are?

Plaque is made of bacteria containing food particles and saliva. Plaque usually forms around your teeth. Fortunately, plaque is soft and sticky, and can be easily removed with proper brushing and flossing techniques. Luckily, visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkups will help with spots that are difficult to reach, especially if you have misaligned or overcrowded teeth.

Yes plaque is easy to remove but when it hardens, it becomes tartar. Tartar is very hard and porous and if you try to remove it yourself you can actually do more harm than good. In fact, trying to treat plaque at home can lead to worse problems such as gum disease and gingivitis.

Still, how do you avoid getting plaque and tartar? In reality, there is nothing you can do to avoid plaque. It is a daily occurrence, making brushing and flossing extremely important. Doing so will also prevent tartar from forming. Finally, please remember that gentle brushing is the best way to remove plaque. Conversely, brushing too hard may damage your teeth and gums.

If you’re worried about tartar, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If tartar is left untreated, it could be caused lead to a variety of issues. Our dentist, Dr. Sonny Afshar, and our team can help you address this issue. To set up an appointment, just call Country Club Dental at 530.677.4457. We are eager to receive your call.