Dental Tips Blog


What Is That Gunk on Your Teeth?

Have you ever scraped a fingernail against your tooth and noticed an accumulation of sticky film? You’ve probably heard the terms “plaque” and “tartar” before. But you may not know exactly what they are.

What Is Dental Plaque?

Dental plaque is a pasty deposit made up of bacteria, food, and fluids from your gums. A plaque layer develops on all surfaces of your teeth within hours after brushing and keeps getting thicker until you remove it by brushing and flossing.

Plaque is clear until it reaches a certain thickness of growth. It can look white or take on a yellow hue. Plaque grows faster after you eat, especially after eating sugar and other carbohydrates.

Dental plaque is the stuff that comes off when you scrape your teeth with your fingernail or clean them with a toothbrush.

Where Does Tartar Come From?

Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is mineralized plaque. It forms in areas where the plaque was left behind to mix with minerals in the saliva which cause it to harden.

Calculus is chalky and hard. It can be white or yellow like plaque and it can even turn brown or black from stain. This tartar buildup won’t come off with a toothbrush or fingernail no matter how hard you try. It stays on your teeth until it’s taken off with special dental tools.

How to Keep Your Teeth Gunk-Free

You can slow down the growth of debris on your teeth by brushing and flossing thoroughly every day. In order to prevent plaque and tartar from causing dental problems, however, you’ll need professional dental cleanings.

Contact your local dentist to schedule a teeth cleaning and to learn more about keeping your teeth free of unwanted buildup!

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401


Is An Electric Toothbrush Worth It?

You may be someone who believes that a powered toothbrush is just a gimmick. It might seem doubtful that a moving brush head can clean better than the classic manual technique.

Does the fact that many other dental patients are reaching for electric toothbrushes mean that you should, too?

What the Research Shows

The overwhelming majority of studies support the claim that powered toothbrushes do remove more dental plaque than manual ones. Basically, the moving bristles break up bacteria in a way your hand can’t manage with a few strokes back-and-forth.

Dental plaque is the culprit behind problems like cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. By controlling plaque formation, you avoid a lot of headache down the road. If a toothbrush can help you do that, then how can you not give it a try?

It Doesn’t Have to Be Fancy

Great news – if you want to try out an electric brush, you don’t need to head for the high-end model. Those will last a long time, but there may be cheaper varieties that work just as well. Check with your dentist to be sure you find one that’s affordable, yet gentle enough for your teeth.

Powered Toothbrushes Benefit Everyone

A toothbrush with vibrating or spinning bristles often comes in handy for people with limited dexterity. It’s also great on braces and dental implants. But the benefits aren’t limited to these special cases, alone. Everyone should try a powered brush at least once!

Interestingly, the final consensus among dental professionals is that a powered toothbrush is the more effective option. If a cleaner healthier smile interests you, ask your dentist or hygienist for suggestions on the models that they recommend.

Posted on behalf of:
Mendota Springs Dentistry
6317 McKee Rd #500
Fitchurg, WI 53719
(608) 957-7709

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