Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. Bacteria in plaque produce acids after you eat or drink. These acids can destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities and gingivitis.
Plaque can develop under the gums on tooth roots and break down the bones that support teeth. Untreated plaque can harden into tough-to-remove tartar. Proper oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, gets rid of plaque When plaque isn’t regularly removed, it can accumulate minerals from your saliva and harden into an off-white or yellow substance called tartar.
Tartar builds up along your gum line on the fronts and backs of your teeth. Although attentive flossing may clean some tartar buildup, you’ll still need to visit a dentist to eliminate it completely.
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