Plaque is the sticky film that naturally occurs on the surface of your teeth. It contains bacteria that when mixed with meals or snacks containing sugar it can release acids that attack tooth enamel. If these attacks are repeated too often the enamel gets weaker and cavities will develop. Plaque can easily be removed with good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing every day. If it is not removed on a daily basis plaque will harden and turn into tartar (calculus).
Tartar also known as calculus is a hard substance that occurs along the gumline and in between teeth. It is the result of when plaque is not thoroughly removed on a daily basis. Having tartar along the gumline causes irritation and swollen gums, this results with an infection and leads to gingivitis and other more serious periodontal diseases. Due to its hard structure tartar can only be removed by a dental professional. Make sure you keep up with your six month cleanings to keep your teeth nice and healthy!