Declare war on tartar to keep your teeth whiter

December 4, 2013

Tartar on teeth looks gross, can make them yellow, and is a source of gum disease. But armed with brush, floss, and a good dental care team you can hunt it down ruthlessly, get rid of it, and help keep your teeth whiter. Here's how.

Declare war on tartar to keep your teeth whiter

For dentists and dental hygienists tartar is no laughing matter. Despite brushing thoroughly, these deposits can still form on your teeth, making them susceptible to gum disease and yellowing your smile. A good dental care team will help you track this enemy down and keep it from taking over in your mouth and causing damage.

What is tartar?

Tartar looks like small, hardened stains or yellowish-white deposits on the teeth, especially at the gum line. It is, in fact, dental plaque that has calcified.

  • If tartar is not a problem in itself, it will become so, because it is porous and is difficult to dislodge by brushing.
  • Worse, it eventually causes more serious problems, such as bone deterioration in the jaw.

Genetic factors and bad habits

Some people are more prone to developing tartar than others because of certain genetic factors, such as the composition of their saliva and the quality of their tooth enamel.

  • Other factors are linked to lifestyle, including: bad dental hygiene, use of tobacco and frequent consumption of sweet foods.

Brushing is essential

To prevent tartar from appearing, it is recommended to brush well after each meal.

  • Brush for at least two minutes, using a rolling motion. Starting near the gum line and proceeding towards the edge of each tooth.
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly or replace the brush head of your electric toothbrush.
  • Use dental floss every day.
  • Make sure to rinse your mouth well when you don’t have access to a toothbrush after a meal.

Receive a complete scaling, twice a year

Unfortunately, even these good measures will not completely stop tartar from invading your mouth. That is why it is important to make an appointment with your dentist or your dental hygienist every six months for a complete scaling.

  • He or she will use specialized instruments, such as hand-held or ultrasound scalers, to remove all the tartar that has accumulated on your teeth.


Along with brushing and flossing, getting a regular cleaning done at the dental clinic is the best way to prevent the appearance of serious dental problems.

  • If tartar is not removed, it may cause gingivitis or periodontal disease.
  • Long-term, tartar may even be a bigger cause of tooth loss in adults than cavities.
  • Don’t forget that tartar can also cause bad breath – another good reason to visit your dental clinic regularly!
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