In this blog post from Mark A. Miely DDS in Upper Arlington Ohio, we would like to clarify the differences between plaque, calculus, and cavities.
Plaque is a film that covers teeth – a sticky layer of bacteria. You should remove plaque with daily brushing and flossing. If it isn’t removed it can build up and harden into calculus.
Calculus, also known as tartar, is hardened plaque that also accumulates minerals from food and saliva. Regular cleanings are necessary to remove tartar, as well as hard-to-reach plaque.
Plaque and calculus are not cavities, but they can lead to cavities. A cavity is basically a hole in the tooth caused by decay. Because plaque and calculus contain bacteria, the bacteria release acids which accelerate tooth decay and eventually lead to more cavities.
A way to keep all this straight is this: Avoid plaque to avoid calculus and tartar to avoid tooth decay and cavities. Got it?
The best way to keep all of this under control is to brush and floss your teeth twice a day. We also like to see you at Mark A. Miely DDS in Upper Arlington Ohio twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today!
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