You’ve probably heard the term “plaque” before, but do you know what it means? We’re not talking about an award; we’re talking about an insidious foe that can wreak havoc on your mouth. Unless you know how to stop it.
What is Dental Plaque?
Plaque is bacteria that forms on your teeth. It’s sticky but colorless (or pale yellow) and can make your teeth feel strange when you run your tongue over them.
Where Does Plaque Come From?
Whenever you eat or drink something with carbohydrates the sugars or starches leave debris behind. Certain bacteria love those starchy and sugary particles and choose to hang around your teeth and gums. Left unchecked, that bacteria builds up and turns to acid or tartar which erodes your teeth and gums.
Plaque Treatment & Prevention
Many foods we eat leave behind debris, and our mouths need good bacteria to keep us healthy. There are ways to combat plaque, and it’s surprisingly easy.
- Brush at least twice per day for at least two minutes to clean all surfaces of your teeth.
- Don’t forget to floss daily to catch the debris between your teeth.
- Add a mouthwash to help rinse away debris that brushing and flossing miss.
- Mind your diet and mix plenty of nutritious foods into your meal plan. Vegetables, like celery, help clean your teeth naturally.
- See your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional teeth cleanings, so they can catch potential issues before they become big problems.
Brushing and flossing regularly is the best way to remove plaque. If you miss some plaque, it can harden into tartar, which is more difficult to remove.
Your dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar buildup, but you need to visit them regularly to prevent more damage. If you’re due for a check-up or professional cleaning, book an appointment online at Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics.