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Dental calculus is the medical term for what is also called tartar. This yellow buildup is a crusty residue made of a mixture of plaque and saliva that has been left too long on the teeth. Instead of brushing it off in a timely manner with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, it has remained to harden. 48 hours is all the time it takes to become an immovable cement. Now, only a professional cleaning with special tools by a dental professional can remove it from your teeth.

Tartar also makes you much more susceptible to additional buildup of plaque and tartar by its rough texture making it easier to adhere. Your dental hygienist will need to use sharp instruments to scrape and scale the tartar above and below the gumline, and then polish the tooth’s surface with the help of a tiny polisher and abrasive so that plaque will have a harder time adhering until your next visit.

While no amount of brushing and flossing at home will help once tartar has already formed, after the cleaning at the dentist you will need to keep up with your oral hygiene routine in order to keep it off. Remember, tartar cannot form if you will ritualistically remove plaque from your mouth every day. So, brush and floss, and add a plaque-fighting mouthwash to your routine as well. Then, make sure you see your dentist every six months for a proper cleaning.

If you need tartar taken off of your teeth, call Dr. Milla Openko and our helpful team at Milla Openko, DMD. Phone: 412.885.5590 . Make an appointment or come by our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.