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Question
I would like to know how to prevent tartar buildup on the backs of my upper and lower front teeth, since I canít reach them effectively either with a toothbrush or floss, due to the concave shape of the surfaces in those areas. I have my teeth cleaned twice a year, which has always been sufficient. This weekend, 3 months after the last cleaning I noticed tartar between my lower front teeth. I cleaned it up with floss, but was shocked when I looked at the back of the teeth and found them covered with tartar. I made an appointment for an extra cleaning, but how can I prevent this?

Thanks

Jo Anne

Answer
Dear Jo Anne:
I'm not trying to be coy, but when you figure out the answer to that question, please tell me so that we can change the world!
Tartar build up is as individual as each person, and it varies with time, age, stress, etc....
Going to the dentist/hygienist for a cleaning every six months is an insurance industry standard.  The insurance companies (before the disaster called ObamaCare) had the ability to perform proper statistical analysis and they determined that if you go to the dentist every six months for an examination and cleaning, they can afford to pay for your visits and still make a profit.  Also, this way problems can be caught early by the dentist and hygienist and treated early for lower costs.  It is much cheaper to pay for a filling than a crown and root canal treatment.
In my practice we follow a simple guideline: As long as my hygienist can perform a proper cleaning without too much effort, take x-rays and call me over for an examination in an hour, your frequency of visits is just right.  As a result we have people come in for hygiene every 2, 3, 4, or 6 months.  Our patients who are and have been on a proper schedule for at least a year, know exactly how easy a cleaning should be.  If my hygienist notices that there is too much build up and the work is too tough (both on her and the patient), she recommends a more frequent cleaning visit.
We still bill the insurance for the patients, but the insurance companies pay only twice.  The other visits are paid by the patient.
This results in proper dental care for our patients.
As for you... as you age, you will notice that your teeth will feel more porous as the enamel wears, and as a consequence you will notice more build up.  This is entirely normal.
Talk to your dentist/hygienist and make sure that you are brushing correctly and follow their recommendations.  If you notice that you are accumulating more rapidly, go for a cleaning more frequently, and/or improve your technique and brush longer.
I'm sorry that I do not have a perfect solution for you..., as I said, if I had one, I would revolutionize the world.
Best wishes,

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Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.

Expertise

I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.

Experience

Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Organizations
Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Education/Credentials
Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

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