What is Dental Calculus? Our Highlands Ranch Dentists explain

You may have heard from our Highlands Ranch Hygientist, Ann, at your last dental visit that you have some calculus or “tar-tar”. So what exactly is dental calculus, and is there a formula to prevent the build up?

Our Highlands Ranch Dentist defines dental calculus (tartar) as the petrification (crystallization) of dental plaque with calcium ions. Dental Plaque is the sticky substance that is left behind by bacteria after eating or drinking. If this bacteria is not brushed or cleaned away within 24 hours it begins to form a biofilm (colony) of bacteria know as dental plaque. When the calcium phosphate ions in  your saliva mix with dental plaque this begins to form dental Calculus. These colonies of dental plaque and calculus can form all around your teeth. Once dental calculus is formed, it can only be removed through mechanical means by a dental hygientist or dentist (a professional cleaning).

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Accumulation of calculus on the teeth can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and even periodontal disease (loss of bone surrounding your teeth).

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So how can you prevent dental calculus or plaque build up?

It is important to keep up with your regular hygiene visits to our Highlands Ranch dental office. For a healthy mouth we recommend a patient have a cleaning and check up every 6 months. For those who suffer from calculus build up, gingivitis, and periodontal disease your Highlands Ranch Dentist may recommend a professional cleaning every 3 to 4 months.

Home care is very important part in prevention of plaque and calculus build up. Our Highlands Ranch Dentist recommend brushing at least twice daily for at least 2 minutes with a Sonicare toothbrush, Flossing or Waterpiking daily, and the use of alcohol free mouth rinse.

Call our Highlands Ranch dentist today, Dr. Sarah Parsons and Dr. Candace DeLapp for an appointment at 303-694-9740. Their family has been serving families in Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker and Ken Caryl for over 30 years.

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