By Dr. James Pechloff
August 16, 2016
Category: Oral Health

While both plaque and tartar can cause problems for your smile they are different!

Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is one surefire way to make sure that you get a clean bill of health from your Wauwatosa plaque and tartardentist Dr. James Pechloff. Of course, plaque and tartar can still buildup despite your best efforts. But what are plaque and tartar and how do they impact your oral health?


This is a sticky thin film that builds up on the teeth and gum line. Plaque is made up of bacteria, saliva and food particles, and it forms on teeth each and every day. Unfortunately, plaque is bad for your teeth and is responsible for cavities and gum disease. But with regular brushing and flossing, you can often remove this harmful film from your teeth.

Plaque is responsible for the formation of cavities because of the acid it can create. Whenever you eat, the plaque converts the foods’ sugars into acid, which erodes healthy tooth enamel over time. Those with plaque problems may also notice that their gums bleed when they brush or floss.


Instead of being clear and sticky like plaque, tartar is hard, yellow and can be rather unsightly. Tartar forms along the gumline and is made from plaque that hasn’t been brushed way. When plaque remains on teeth, it hardens on teeth and becomes tartar.

Just like plaque, tartar will continue to get worse until removed. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy to remove as it is with plaque. In fact, the only way to remove tartar is by seeing your dentist for a cleaning. Through special scaling instruments, we can easily remove tartar, which your regular toothbrush can’t handle.

You should be visiting your Wauwatosa preventive dentist every six months for routine cleanings and exams. If it’s time for your next cleaning then don’t hesitate to call Dr. Pechloff today!