Personalized & Comfortable Dental Care, with offices in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Arco.

Personalized & Comfortable Dental Care, with offices in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Arco.

Plaque VS Tartar

teeth with dental plaque

Plaque and tartar are often talked about together because, you see, they go hand in hand. However, they are commonly confused for the same thing. Tartar and plaque are very closely related, but different in some important ways. To ensure your dental health is at its best- it’s important to learn the difference.



  • Hard to see
  • Everyone develops it
  • Born from bacteria in foods we eat
  • Removed by brushing and flossing
  • Soft film that clings to your teeth


  • Easy to see
  • Caused by improper removal of plaque
  • Hardened mineral material
  • Can only be removed by a professional
  • Leads to extra dental threats like gum disease


Plaque Attack

Let’s start this discussion off with plaque. We all know about the fuzzy sticky film that clings to our teeth after meal time. We’ve adjusted to it. We know its tricks we are ready to face them head on. On a daily basis we deal with plaque because it develops from the bacteria in the food we eat. You can’t be expected to stop eating, so we handle the film with other defenses. Plaque is inevitable but with proper dental hygiene you can protect your teeth.


Tartar the Terrible

If you are one of the lucky ones that has never dealt with or even heard of tartar: let me break it down for you. Tartar is born from plaque, but the apple falls rather far from the tree. If plaque is not appropriately taken care of the build up will harden becoming impossible for you to remove at home. This hardened addition to your smile puts you at greater risk for cavities, discoloration, gum recession and gum disease. Tartar does not affect everyone, luckily, but if you are so unlucky you need to get it treated right away.



The cause of these dental disruptions is related because one is bred from the other. That means prevention will be an easy one to remember.

  • Daily brushing and flossing: don’t be shy- really get in there so that no plaque is left unsupervised.
  • Bi-annual dental visits: don’t let tartar sneak up on you. Let the pros take a look regularly to keep your mouth protected.
  • Drink lots of water with meals: this helps to flush the bacteria to reduce plaque buildup.


Eagle Rock Dental Care is here to help you keep those teeth plaque and tartar free. We have dedicated our careers to offering you the best that dental care has to offer. Our doctors and staff will put you and your family first so that you feel right at home. Don’t let the plaque get the best of you! Contact us or request your appointment online today.

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