Dental tartar, also called dental calculus, is dental plaque that has hardened on your teeth. Dental plaque is a film of colorless bacteria that sticks to your teeth. Bad oral hygiene habits cause dental plaque to build up and dental tartar to eventually collect above your gum line, which provides more sticky surfaces for dental plaque to grow on that again collect dental tartar. It’s a vicious cycle.
Your responsibility continues outside your dentist’s office with preventing dental tartar from coming back. To practice good oral hygiene habits brush at least twice a day with fluoride or tartar control toothpaste, floss daily and see your dentist regularly every six months.