Can Flossing Remove Tartar?

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Flossing can prevent tartar from building up, but it cannot remove tartar. Only a dental professional cleaning can scrape tartar away from your teeth. That said, it’s vital that you visit your dentist twice each year to remove plaque and tartar that have formed.

Despite its inability to remove tartar, flossing is still critical to your oral health. It’s an integral part of how you take care of your teeth and gums. Flossing at least once a day is the recommended frequency given by American Dental Association.

Flossing may not remove tartar, but it removes plaque from between your teeth. Your toothbrush can’t reach these areas.

Plus, flossing prevents gum disease and cavities.

What is tartar?

Plaque and tartar are two different things.

Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and the gum line. It contains bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. If plaque is not removed because you don’t brush and floss properly, it can harden causing tartar.

Tartar is a calcified plaque that attaches to the tooth enamel and gum line.

Tartar makes it difficult to brush and floss, resulting in cavities and tooth decay. When it reaches above your gum line, it could irritate and damage your gums. If left untreated, it can progress into a gum disease.

The mildest form of gum disease that’s treatable and reversible is gingivitis. By brushing, flossing using an antibacterial mouthwash, gingivitis can be reversed.

Controlling tartar

The best way to get rid of tartar is not to let it form on your teeth. How?

Brush regularly

Although the recommended times is twice a day, it’s still ideal that you brush after every eating. Then, when you brush, make sure that it’s for two minutes at a time. Use a soft bristle brush that can fit into your mouth. Include those hard-to-reach surfaces.

You may also opt to use a powered toothbrush to get rid of the plaque entirely. But whether you use a manual or electronic toothbrush, make sure that it has the ADA seal.

Use tartar-control toothpaste

This toothpaste contains a high amount of fluoride. It does not remove tartar, but it prevents plaque from hardening and turning into tartar. Then, the fluoride content repairs any enamel damage. Some toothpaste brands have triclosan, which is effective in fighting bacteria found in plaque.

Remove it with floss

Dental floss is the most effective way to remove plaque located between your teeth, even though you brush your teeth thoroughly. By flossing, you can keep tartar out of those areas that can be difficult to reach by a toothbrush.

Kill plaque with antiseptic mouthwash

It’s also ideal that you use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria causing plaque. But don’t just use any mouthwash. Ensure that it’s recommended by your dentist.

Avoid starchy and sugary foods

Mouth bacteria can thrive on starchy and sugary foods. When you eat these foods, the bacteria will release harmful acids that can weaken the enamel. Instead of those foods, try eating a healthy diet and limit your consumption of sugary foods.

Now, if tartar has already formed, the only way to get rid of it is through a professional dental cleaning