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Many people don’t understand the difference between plaque and tarter. Many people think they are one and the same. But understanding the difference between the two will help you make critical decisions about the necessary steps you will need to take if you want to have your teeth for your last meal and have increased general health, including having healthy joints and heart.

What Is Plaque?

Dental plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on the surfaces of your teeth and just under your gums throughout the day. It takes just 24 hours for a full-blown colony of these millions of bacteria to make a home. Because oral bacteria eat the same things we do, carbohydrates or sugars are used as a replicative energy source for these bacteria which causes tooth decay and periodontal disease (gum disease).

Hence, superb oral hygiene is essential to preventing tooth decay and protecting yourself against gum and bone loss. The great thing is that prevention is easy! Brush twice a day and flossing once a day, when done correctly, are the key factors in preventing disease. Drinking water, decreasing snacking throughout the day and chewing xylitol gum after meals and snacks will also help give you an added level of protection.

What Is Tartar?

So then what’s tartar? Essentially, tartar, aka calculus (no, no math calculations here!) is accumulated plaque that mixes with the minerals in your saliva, which calcifies (hardens) on your teeth. This happens over time and can be a normal, but a detrimental process to your gums and bone. Tarter must be removed by a dental practitioner on a regularly basis–a minimum of twice a year or more if you are diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease, in order to prevent active gum and bone loss. Now do you see why regularly visiting your dentist is so important?

In addition to plaque buildup causing, decay and gum and bone loss, it can also cause tooth staining and tooth sensitivity over time. Regular oral hygiene including brushing twice a day and flossing once a day will reduce plaque and tarter from forming and keep your gorgeous smile going!!!

Regular Visits

Though your oral hygiene may be top notch, plaque and tartar formation are still going to happen. So, come see us regularly (a minimum of twice a year, or more if you are diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease) and let us do our part in helping maintain a beautiful, healthy smile! If you still have questions about plaque, tarter, or gum and bone disease, call or come in to see us!

For all of your family, cosmetic or restorative dental needs, we invite you to contact Paris Family Dental. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (903) 732-0061! Visit us at 2333 Lamar Ave, Paris, TX 75460 to learn more about our team, our practice, and how we provide excellence in dentistry in our area.


Mon: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Tue: 7:30am – 5:00pm
Wed: 7:30am – 5:00pm
Thu: 7:30am – 5:00pm
Dental Paris Texas - Dr Del Toro