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When it comes to dentistry, there are a few terms and phrases that can be confusing. For instance, you’ve probably heard of plaque and tartar—but do you know what the differences actually are?

Plaque is made of bacteria containing food particles and saliva. Plaque usually forms around your teeth. Fortunately, plaque is soft and sticky, and can be easily removed with proper brushing and flossing techniques. Luckily, visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkups will help with spots that are difficult to reach, especially if you have misaligned or overcrowded teeth.

Conversely, when plaque hardens, it becomes known as tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar is very hard and porous. Sadly, if you try to damage your teeth, you may actually damage your teeth. Furthermore, if tartar isn’t removed, it can lead to gum disease and gingivitis. Similarly, tartar will trap stains and cause discoloration in your smile.

If you’re interested in keeping your mouth healthy and strong, you should strive to remove plaque to prevent tartar from forming—but how can you accomplish this goal? Plaque will form in your mouth and in reality, you can’t stop it. Fortunately, plaque is easily removed by brushing and flossing. Unlike plaque, tartar needs to be removed by a dentist.

If you’re worried about tartar, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If tartar is left untreated, it could be caused lead to a variety of issues. Our dentist, Dr. Ben Vela & Allan Ng, and our team can help you address this issue. To set up an appointment, just call Vela Dental Centers Southside at 361.994.4900. We are eager to receive your call.