What is calculus? What is tartar?
Calculus, or tartar, is a hard calcified material. It is formed on teeth by a buildup of the minerals in saliva mixed with the bacteria of dental plaque. While it can form anywhere on the teeth, it is most common where saliva enters the mouth. Consequently, it can usually be seen on the outer surface of the upper molar teeth and the inner surfaces of the lower front teeth. Almost everybody has some degree of plaque present on their teeth. However, once calculus has formed, you can not remove it at home. It can only be removed by a practiced dental professional.
The buildup of calculus can be prevented by implementing a good oral hygiene routine and attending cleaning appointments with a dental hygienist. Unfortunately, if you have allowed it to form, no amount of homecare will remove it. It is bound too strongly to the tooth surface. As a result, you will need to visit the dentist, who will use ultrasonic and hand scalers to remove it. While this is a routine procedure, it can cause some discomfort. Don’t let it reach this stage!