Plaque vs. Tartar

Updated Jan 17, 2023

What are the differences between plaque and tartar?

Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that accumulates on teeth. It is mostly made up of food particles and saliva and can cause cavities, tooth decay, and bad breath if left untreated. Tartar is hardened plaque that has hardened and is harder to remove.

Example Sentences:

  1. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly will help to prevent plaque from forming on your teeth.
  2. You should visit your dentist every six months to have your tartar professionally removed.

Why do people commonly confuse plaque and tartar?

People commonly confuse plaque and tartar because they are both substances that form on teeth, and they both require professional cleaning to remove. Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth, while tartar is a hardened form of plaque that is harder to remove. Both plaque and tartar can cause gum disease and tooth decay, so it is important to remove them to maintain good oral health.

What are some ways to make sure you don't confuse plaque and tartar?

  1. Use different phrases to refer to the two substances. For example, refer to plaque as “oral bacteria” and tartar as “mineralized deposits.”

  2. Include descriptions of each substance in the sentence. For example, “Plaque is a sticky film of oral bacteria, while tartar is a mineralized deposit that accumulates on the teeth.”

  3. Use specific terminology to distinguish between the two. For example, “Plaque is an accumulation of biofilm, while tartar is a calcified deposit.”

  4. Use examples to illustrate the differences between the two. For example, “Plaque can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, while tartar can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.”

  5. Use images to demonstrate the differences between plaque and tartar. This can help to clarify the distinction between the two substances.

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