Blog Post

How to Prevent Plaque and Tartar

How to Prevent Plaque and Tartar

Plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It makes teeth “feel fuzzy” to the tongue and is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed.

Even if you take great care of your teeth at home, you still have bacteria in your mouth. They mix with proteins and food byproducts to form a sticky film called dental plaque. This gunk coats your teeth gets under your gum line and sticks to fillings or other dental work. Plaque carries bacteria that can damage tooth enamel and lead to cavities. But if you remove plaque regularly, you can prevent permanent tooth decay and gum disease.

Over time, if plaque isn’t removed on a regular basis, minerals from your saliva are deposited into the plaque biofilm causing it to harden within 24 to 72 hours, turning into tartar. And while you can remove plaque at home, tartar removal requires the help of a dental professional.

How Can Plaque Formation Be Prevented?

1. To prevent plaque buildup, brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft, rounded-tip bristled toothbrush. Pay particular attention to space where the gums and teeth meet. Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste.

2. Floss between teeth at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria.

3. Use an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.

4. See your dentist or oral hygienist every 6 months for a check-up and teeth cleaning.

5. Eat a balanced diet and limit the number of between-meal snacks. If you need a snack, choose nutritious foods.


1. The buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth can lead to gum disease, enamel loss, and tooth decay.

2. Poor oral hygiene may also play a role in the development of other health conditions.

3. For people with an excessive plaque or severe gum disease, a dentist may also recommend prescription-strength mouthwashes or changes to the person’s oral care routine.