Plaque and Tartar Removal in Wasilla, AK

Keep Your Smile Beautiful and Healthy

Plaque and tartar are the main culprits of unwanted dental issues, such as gum disease. Without proper removal, plaque and tartar will continue to build up on the teeth, causing damage. Learn from our Wasilla dentist how plaque and tartar removal is key to maintaining your beautiful and healthy smile.

What Is Plaque?

Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless, or pale yellow film that’s constantly forming on your teeth. When saliva, food, and fluids combine, they produce bacteria deposits that collect where the teeth and gums meet. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce acids that attack your tooth enamel and can damage your gums. If not treated, damage to the enamel can cause cavities, and gum damage can lead to gum disease.

Plaque that’s not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into tartar or calculus which is difficult to remove and can cause further oral health problems. Plaque can also contribute to bad breath.

What Is Tartar?

Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a hard, crusty deposit that forms on the teeth and can contribute to their decay. It’s a more advanced form of plaque, which is the sticky film that constantly forms on teeth due to bacterial activity.

When plaque isn’t removed regularly by proper brushing and flossing, it can harden and turn into tartar. This hard substance adheres to teeth and, because it’s porous, absorbs stains easily. So, people who smoke or drink coffee or tea heavily can find that their tartar is more noticeable and discolored.

Tartar buildup bonds strongly to enamel and can only be removed by a dental professional. If it accumulates on the tooth and gum line, it can lead to gum diseases like gingivitis or more serious periodontal diseases.

woman getting her teeth checked at the dentist

The Benefits of Plaque and Tartar Removal

Plaque and tartar removal has numerous benefits, including:

  • Prevents tooth decay and cavities
  • Prevents gum disease
  • Reduces bad breath
  • Keeps teeth looking and feeling clean
  • Maintains overall dental health

When Plaque and Tartar Removal Is Necessary

Plaque and tartar removal is necessary for anyone who wants to maintain good oral health. While most patients need dental cleanings twice a year, some may need it more than others, including:

  • People who smoke or use tobacco
  • People with braces or other dental appliances
  • People with a history of gum disease or cavities
  • People who have a dry mouth
  • People with a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates

How the Plaque and Tartar Removal Process Works

Plaque and tartar removal is a straightforward procedure that typically takes place during routine dental cleanings. The process works as follows:

  1. Examination: The dentist or dental hygienist will examine your teeth to determine the extent of plaque and tartar buildup.
  2. Scaling: Using a special tool, the dentist or dental hygienist will scrape away the plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. This process is called scaling.
  3. Polishing: Once the plaque and tartar are removed, the dentist or dental hygienist will polish your teeth using special toothpaste.
  4. Fluoride Treatment: Finally, we may apply a fluoride treatment to help protect your teeth from future decay.

The length of the plaque and tartar removal procedure can vary depending on the extent of buildup on your teeth. However, it typically takes around 30 minutes to complete.

For those with a severe amount of plaque and tartar buildup, your dentist may recommend deep cleanings or gross debridement.

woman smiling in the mirror

Frequently Asked Questions

Is plaque removal painful?
Can I remove plaque and tartar at home?
Can plaque and tartar lead to other health problems?
What should I expect after the plaque and tartar removal procedure?
Is plaque removal painful?

No, plaque removal is typically painless. However, some people may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity during the procedure. This is because the dental professional is scraping away plaque and tartar from your teeth, which can cause some sensitivity or discomfort. Should you experience severe pain during the procedure, let your dentist know immediately.

Can I remove plaque and tartar at home?

While brushing and flossing can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup, it’s not possible to remove tartar at home. Tartar is a hardened form of plaque that can only be removed by a dental professional using specialized tools. However, you can prevent tartar buildup by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and following a healthy diet.

Can plaque and tartar lead to other health problems?

Yes, there’s evidence to suggest that poor oral health, including plaque and tartar buildup, can contribute to other health problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The bacteria in plaque can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation, which can lead to these and other health problems. That’s why it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene and have regular dental checkups.

What should I expect after the plaque and tartar removal procedure?

You may experience some sensitivity or soreness in your gums for a day or two following the procedure. It’s also common to experience some bleeding when brushing or flossing. However, if the bleeding persists or you experience any severe pain or swelling, you should contact your dentist.

Our Wasilla Dentist Can Keep Your Smile Clean and Healthy

Plaque and tartar removal is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. By having your teeth cleaned regularly and following proper dental care habits, you can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Remember to visit your local dentist at least twice a year and follow their recommendations for maintaining good oral health.

Contact Northwind Dental today!

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(907) 373-2440
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