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Preventing Tartar Buildup

We all get it - that icky yellow buildup that sits at the base of the teeth and causes them to appear yellow. It’s called tartar or dental calculus, and nobody is immune to it, not even the very best brushers among us. But what is it, really? And how can you get rid of it?

Dental calculus is a nasty mix of bacteria, food biproducts and proteins that congeal together and make a sticky film that adheres to your teeth. This film sits at the gum line and discolors the teeth, and it can’t be removed by brushing alone. In fact, calculus is what your dentist scrapes away with his tools when you go to the dentist.

So, how can you get rid of dental calculus on your own? Well, the bad news is, once it’s on your teeth, dental calculus must be removed by a dentist. But the good news is that there are ways to reduce how much calculus accumulates on your teeth in the first place, so your teeth look cleaner and whiter longer.

Good Old Brushing

There are so many things that a good, old-fashioned tooth brushing can help prevent. Studies have shown that brushing regularly can lower your risk of everything from diabetes to some forms of cancer, but its primary purpose is still to keep the teeth clean and healthy. To prevent tartar buildup, brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time.


Think of flossing as an extension of brushing. Flossing cleans the areas between your teeth that cannot be reached by your toothbrush - about 30 percent of the surface of your teeth. It not only gets out bits and particles of food stuck between the teeth, but also clears away plaque that could turn into tartar if not removed early on.

Watch Your Diet

With so many people adapting a low-carb lifestyle these days, it may actually be easier than ever to avoid carbohydrates and sugars, two prime causes of tartar buildup. For some people, however, sugar and carbs are just a part of life. But beware: They are also a danger to your pearly whites, so avoid them whenever possible.

Visit Your Dentist

We love seeing you! But more than that, when you get a professional cleaning from Dr. Abelar’s office, you not only get a full dental exam, but also a reduction in dental tartar and a whiter, brighter smile!

Ready to make an appointment? Give us a call at 858-866-9692.

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