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Hours of Operation


Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm

Tuesday -Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

Summer Hours

Specials hours

Monday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Tuesday -Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday,Saturday,Sunday Closed

Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


This Tartar is No Good On Perch

dental careYou may have an uncle or cousin who’s all about catching perch or sunfish in the little lakes and ponds around Mt. Pleasant. Seeing as these aren’t exactly King Salmon, he may then liberally amend said fish with a vat of tartar sauce.

Unfortunately for your teeth, that’s not the kind of tartar they deal with. They get a wholly different animal that has an alias, calculus.

Once tartar/calculus has formed on your teeth, you can’t get it off at home. It’s now up to the hygienists at Dr. Egger’s to remove it. Not doing so leads first to gingivitis and then on to full-blown gum disease.

Here’s the lowdown on that non-fishy tartar.

How tartar forms

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth. Plaque and your toothbrush are involved in an ongoing battle. Every day you brush it away only to have it re-form the next day. It’s easy to remove with some attentive brushing and flossing. Problems arise when you don’t brush and floss, or do a lackadaisical job.

If the plaque on your teeth is allowed to take up residence, it hardens or calcifies. This calcified plaque is now called tartar. It starts on your teeth above the gums and then progresses slowly down under the gumline. Initially, tartar under your gums slightly irritates them (not unlike how your Aunt Gracie irritates everyone at Thanksgiving). This is called gingivitis. But as more tartar builds up and the gums become more irritated, they begin to pull away from the teeth. This is the beginning of gum disease, which can end up with tooth loss and extensive jawbone damage.

So we chip it away

No one wants to have gum disease. Fortunately, Dr. Egger’s hygienists are expert Tartar warriors. How do they get the stuff off? They use dental picks in a process called scaling. The pick is applied to the edge of the tartar, and some force is applied. Often the tartar comes off not unlike a shell lifting off. Other times, some back and forth scraping will remove it.

The important thing to know is that scaling is a professional job. Not only can you damage your gums and tooth enamel if you try and scrape tartar off your teeth, but you can’t do a thorough enough job so that the tartar will remain and grow.

That’s why we advise all of our patients to come in every six months for our professional cleanings. This is about the time it takes for tartar to develop on even the best cared-for teeth. Tartar is especially prevalent on the inside of the lower bottom teeth. Just about everyone builds up tartar in that location.

Leave the tartar for the perch from Crystal Lake. Let the team at Dr. Egger’s get rid of your dental tartar. Call us at 989-773-3560 for an appointment.