dental health

What You Need to Know About Tartar


Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon and the owner of the successful Langley Dental Practice has advised that patients need to understand tartar, what it is, what it looks like and why its so dangerous for their teeth in the long run.

What is Tartar

Tartar is when plaque builds up in your mouth and hardens and calcifies. Plaque is found in all mouths, which is why you brush twice a day. If you are not brushing effectively for the full two minutes or you are missing areas of a particular tooth, tartar will start to build up and you will start to notice it on the teeth.

What does tartar look like?

Many patients don’t understand what tartar looks like. But if you take a mirror and look along the inside of your teeth you may notice hard yellow or brown areas. This can be found on the top or bottom teeth and the area is a different colour to your natural tooth colour, this is tartar. This needs to be removed as tartar can result in tooth decay in the long run.

Why is tartar dangerous?

Tariq Drabu advised that tartar hardens, but remains sticky, which enables dangerous bacteria to get stuck and start eating away at the hard enamel coating of the teeth. Once the bacteria gets through the enamel it can target the sensitive dentine and dental pulp inside the tooth, this is when you will experience tooth sensitivity and treatment becomes urgent.

Dental hygienist

The most effective way to remove tartar is to visit the dental hygienist who will professionally clean your teeth using a specialised tool. They can break up the tartar and remove it so that your teeth are left sparkling clean, feeling better and reducing the risk of tooth decay moving forward.


Ensure you are using the correct brushing technique to clean the entire tooth inside and out. You want to focus on each individual tooth and brush for a full two to three minutes with each brushing. The most important time to brush is before bed, this is when bacteria have their chance to attack the teeth. In addition to this, Tariq Drabu mentioned that a second brushing must be done during the day, ideally in the morning. You should brush holding your tooth at a forty five degree angle and gently brush the gum line as you work around your mouth.


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