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The difference between plaque and calculus

Plaque is a colourless film that constantly builds up around your teeth. It is made up of bacteria and can cause tooth decay if not removed regularly through brushing and flossing.When left, plaque hardens forming Calculus, also known as Tartar. It is often yellow or brown in colour and can form in between the teeth or along the gumline. Due to its hardened surface, it provides more surface area for plaque to build up. This leads to further decay and risk of other periodontal diseases.

While plaque can be removed through regular brushing and flossing, removing calculus is a little more difficult. In most cases, this involves help from your dentist, as it can require a range of tools. The process of removing calculus is also known as debridement. This involves using either a hand-held instrument or ultrasonic device. These devices use high- frequency vibrations with water to get rid of the tartar. Following the removal, your dentist will conduct a thorough checkup to determine if any further treatment is required. This may include a thorough scale and clean of your teeth or more in depth treatment depending on the damage caused by the calculus.

To prevent against calculus make sure that you have a good oral care routine. This involves brushing and flossing twice a day and attending regular checkups at your dentist. Experts recommend to see your dentist every 6 months to ensure optimal health of your teeth.

To book in for your regular checkup and clean, make sure to book in with one of our friendly dentists today!

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