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Plaque and tartar on teeth

You should get specific instructions from your dentist or hygienist on how to correctly brush and floss. But in general, recommendations for preventing and removing tartar or plaque on your teeth include:

  • Brush at least twice a day with a brush that is not too large for your mouth and that has soft, rounded bristles. The brush should let you reach every surface in your mouth easily, and the toothpaste should contain fluoride.
  • Electric tooth brushes have been shown to clean teeth better than manual ones.
  • Floss gently at least twice a day. This is important to prevent gum disease.
  • See your dentist or oral hygienist every 6 months for a thorough teeth cleaning and oral examination.

Dental sealants are a means of protecting teeth from decay by sealing over healthy pits, fissures, and grooves in the teeth. Well-balanced meals are also recommended for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

For more information, see: Oral hygiene

Alternative Names

Tartar and plaque on teeth; Calculus

Update Date: 2/22/2012

Updated by: Paul Fotek, DMD, Florida Institute for Periodontics & Dental lmplants, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

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