difference between plaque and tartar

The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar

Plaque develops between brushings and becomes tartar if left to build up. Treatment for the two conditions are different, but regular dentist appointments helps prevent both.

Key takeaways:

  • Plaque forms on teeth and around the gumline but is easy to remove through regular brushing and flossing.
  • Tartar is a harder substance which can grow over time from plaque buildup, and will need to be removed by a dentist.
  • If tartar is not removed it can result in tooth decay, gum disease and possible tooth loss.

“Hard brushing isn’t needed and can actually cause further damage to your enamel. It doesn’t take a lot of force to remove plaque—gentle brushing with a quality toothbrush will do the trick. Flossing once a day can help remove plaque in places that your toothbrush can’t reach!”

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Matthew Houlton BDS(Sheffield) MFGDP(UK)

I’m Matthew Houlton, principal dentist and practice owner of Manor House Dental Practice.

Qualified from Sheffield dental hospital in 1993.

Post graduate training with Paul Tipton (Specialist Prosthodontist) from 2005-2007.

Diploma for Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) 2007.

Special interest in Orthodontics.

Yorkshire Deanary Fixed Appliance Training Scheme 2002-2004.

I have worked at York Hospital’s orthodontic department one session a week since 2009.

Member of the British Society of Occlusal Studies (the study of temporomandibular disorder).

I have two children, who keep me busy when I am not at the practice. I take a keen interest in and teach Aikido, a martial art, to keep a healthy mind and body.