Tartar is a calcification of plaque, a whitish gel of saliva, and bacteria associated with food scraps. It is necessary to differentiate dental plaque from tartar. If plaque is not removed by brushing, scale will form. Tartar is this medium of survival of bacteria that calcifies. Tartar itself is not a problem. On the other hand, it is porous and will retain dental plaque more easily. It is more difficult to remove dental plaque embedded in tartar. There are areas inaccessible to brushing, hence the importance of descaling every year. For example, the incisors lower anterior teeth, located under the tongue (in contact with the saliva permanently) and the inner surface of the lower molars. The advantage is that we will restore access to dental cleaning. So let us see how to remove tartar from teeth.
How to prevent the appearance of tartar?
Tartar can be prevented by effective tooth brushing, combined with an inter-dental cleaning system. In Europe and in the Latin countries, dental floss is not something cultural, unlike the Nordic countries, Canada and USA, where this practice is part of brushing, they incorporated it into prevention. There are two brushing techniques:
- The so-called Stallman technique, indicated for fine gums (movement of the roller with a manual toothbrush from the gum to the tooth). Repeat 6 to 8 times per group of 2 teeth. At the rate of 2 times a day, 3 times in case of periodontitis;
- Another technique: that of Bass , which consists of brushing his teeth half horse on the gum and tooth by making small circular movements, indicated for smokers for example. Fluoride toothpaste is preferable.
What are the effects of scale buildup?
What induces pathologies is plaque. Tartar itself is not aggressive. Descaling is used to make brushing effective and prevent plaque from forming on the scale. Decalcification without correction of the brushing technique is of no interest. The presence of dental plaque will have an effect on the appearance of gingivitis. If tartar is allowed to accumulate, the inflammatory response of the gum should be observed. Often, this is the case when there is a defect in the brushing technique, on the inner side of the molars. The sign that must alert is the bleeding brushing. A large majority of patients have the impression of damaging the gums by rubbing and therefore avoids the area; it’s a mistake, you have to do the opposite. This is an area that is not cleaned enough, you have to insist.
At what rate does tartar form?
The intraoral pH and the amount of saliva, specific to each, determine the rate of scale formation. At the food level, anything that is acidic tends to favor cavities, basic foods rather tartar. A dental plaque begins to form 2 to 3 days without brushing or without access to certain areas.
How many times a year should we do a descaling?
Removing tartar is good. We advise once a year. Regular descaling limits the appearance of periodontitis, allow access to the patient. On this occasion, you can correct your brushing techniques, observe your inflammatory response and act on it. But to prevent the bacterial load from being too great is better. A 1978 Axels son study showed that the repetition of good dental hygiene by brushing teeth is more effective than descaling. The advantage of descaling is to get the tartar in places where it is inaccessible to brushing. Proper descaling takes at least 20 minutes.