A build-up of tartar (i.e., hardened bacterial plaque) on the surface of your teeth can lead to both gum inflammation (which can cause periodontal disease to develop) and enamel erosion (which can lead to the formation of cavities). As such, it's important to do your best to prevent tartar from building up on your teeth. Here are two ways to do this.

Seek out the services of an orthodontist to help you straighten any overlapping teeth

If some of the teeth in your mouth overlap, you should consider finding an orthodontist and having them provide you with braces to correct the position of these teeth.

If your teeth overlap, there is a much greater chance that you will experience all of the above-mentioned issues that are associated with tartar build-up. This is because bacterial plaque will become stuck between the teeth that overlap. If the gap between these teeth is very small, it will be virtually impossible to extract this plaque with a toothbrush or with the tools that a dentist uses when performing a scale and polish. This will then result in the plaque solidifying and turning into tartar.

In this situation, the only way to rectify the problem would be to undergo orthodontic treatment that will gradually straighten the teeth and thus enable both you and your dentist to remove the bacterial plaque that sit on the teeth's surface.

Whilst orthodontic treatment can take a long time and costs quite a bit, it could potentially spare you the severe pain and great expense associated with developing large cavities and periodontal disease. 

Don't assume that your toothbrush will remove all of the plaque from your teeth

A lot of people believe that thoroughly brushing their teeth twice a day is enough to prevent tartar build-up. The truth is that whilst your teeth may look and feel very clean after you spend a few minutes brushing them, there will still be a significant amount of plaque bacteria in between the teeth and near the gum line.

If you don't floss after eating, this plaque will linger on your teeth and eventually turn into tartar. This tartar will then erode your tooth enamel and continue to cause gum inflammation until it is scraped off at your next scale-and-polish appointment.

As such, regardless of how clean your teeth might feel after brushing them, you should still floss each one after every snack or meal that you consume.