Sometimes our patients at The Parkway Dentist in Fort Worth get a couple of dental terms mixed up. We’re using this blog post to clarify the differences between plaque, calculus, and cavities.
Plaque is a film that covers teeth – a sticky layer of bacteria. You can remove it 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 check-ups and cleanings with your Fort Worth dentist are necessary to remove tartar as well as hard-to-reach plaque.
Plaque and calculus are not cavities, but they can cause them. 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.
Preventing cavities in all our patients is one of our goals, which is why we stress daily brushing and flossing. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, because they’re much easier on the surface of teeth and the gums. We also recommend using a toothpaste with fluoride.
At The Parkway Dentist in Fort Worth, we want the best possible dental health for all our patients. Our services include general and family dentistry, and restorative dentistry. Call us to schedule an appointment today!
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