2 Mistakes To Avoid When Trying To Prevent Tartar Buildup On Your Teeth

When trying to keep tartar from building up on your teeth, you may already perform regular oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing a few times a day. However, there are some things you may be doing that could be contributing to the formation of the sticky substance on your teeth. When trying to prevent tartar buildup, avoid making the following mistakes.

Eating a Snack Before Bedtime

If you tend to go to bed later in the evening, you may regularly eat a snack before bedtime. However, this nightly ritual may contribute to the formation of tartar, especially if you eat sugary or carbohydrate-laden foods.

Although snacking on these foods any time of the day can lead to tartar formation, eating them before you go to bed can be worse. When you eat right before you go to bed, the residual sugars cling to your teeth overnight. When allowed to sit on the surface of your teeth for hours, these sugars attract bacteria that contribute to tartar formation.

If you cannot go without your bedtime snack, make sure you thoroughly brush and floss your teeth before you go to sleep, even if you have already done so for the evening. 

Ignoring Your Tongue While Brushing Your Teeth

Although you brush and floss your teeth and even rinse with mouthwash, you may be forgetting an important part of your dental care regimen. Although toothpaste and mouthwash do come into contact with the tongue, there may be hidden food particles and bacteria buried deep within the crevices of your tongue.

When the bacteria are allowed to feed on the food particles left on your tongue, they multiply quickly. When your tongue comes into contact with your teeth, the germs are then able to migrate to your teeth's enamel. These bacteria then stick to any tartar already present on your teeth and contribute to its increased formation.

While brushing your teeth, make sure you also brush the surface of your tongue. You can also use a tongue scraper specifically designed to scrape away the bacteria and food, leaving your tongue clean so that it does not cause more tartar to build up on the adjacent teeth.

Avoiding the above mistakes can help minimize the amount of tartar buildup on your teeth. However, no matter how meticulous you are about your oral hygiene, tartar and plaque will eventually start forming on your teeth. Make sure you visit your dentist regularly to have preventative dental care, including a thorough cleaning and scraping of your teeth to keep the buildup from getting out of hand.