If you know much of anything about dental health, chances are you know that tartar is bad for your teeth and your gums. Getting rid of at home would be great, but is it really possible to do so? If you've been curious about this in the past, then here's what you need to know.
What Tartar Really Is
Tartar is essentially plaque that's been allowed to progress to a second stage. Think of it like gingivitis turning into periodontitis - the early stage isn't too much of a threat, but the later stage is.
Tartar is hard and sticky and can't be removed with tooth brushes, floss, or even water flossers. It's a stubborn thing and can cause problems for you like making it harder to floss if it fills up the space between your teeth. With tartar, your own home care for your teeth and gums can become less effective, despite doing all the right things.
The Problem With Using Specialized Equipment at Home
Some people will tell you that it is possible to remove tartar at home, if you use the right equipment. The truth is, using something like a dental scaler can potentially remove tartar from your teeth. However, there's big problems with trying to use it yourself.
The first issue is that dental scalers are effective at removing tartar because they're hard and sharp. What this means is that in an untrained hand, dental scalers are just as effective at stripping away dental enamel as they are tartar. You're highly likely to damage your teeth's only defense against tartar by using one at home.
Secondly, it's hard to see what you're doing while you're using a dental scaler. You can potentially jab yourself in the gums, which can result in an injury that can be easily infected by oral bacteria.
So the answer here is that technically, it's possible to remove tartar at home. However, without the training and specialized equipment to help you see what you're doing, you're extremely likely to do more damage to yourself than the tartar!
The nice thing here is that getting help with your tartar is as simple as getting a dental cleaning. That's really all it takes. A few minutes in the dental hygienist's chair and your tartar will be stripped away, along with any plaque, and your gums and teeth will start recovering and become healthy again. Then it'll be much easier to take care of your oral health at home, too.
Taking care of your teeth doesn't have to be hard. Just get your teeth cleaned on a regular basis and keep up your oral health maintenance at home and you'll do just fine.