When buying a toothbrush, listening to dental advertisements, or when coming in to our office, you often hear the word “plaque” associated with the health of your teeth. Plaque is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing two times each day for at least two minutes, and flossing regularly as well. Here’s what you need to know about plaque and what it can do to your smile.
What Is It Exactly?
If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might feel a film-like, sticky buildup on your teeth. By the end of the day you most likely start to feel your teeth getting “fuzzy”. This layer is plaque, a bacteria layer that grips onto and grows on your teeth. There isn’t anything you can do to stop plaque from forming, but brushing and flossing, as well as keeping up with regular dental visits, are your best defenses for cleaning plaque off of your teeth.
Why Is Plaque So Harmful?
Without regular brushing and cleaning, plaque builds up and multiplies. As plaque is left
untreated, it hardens to form tartar (also known as calculus). Plaque also leads to decay, as it produces an acid that damages your teeth. When you come into our office for a dental examination, we thoroughly clean your teeth to ensure that any buildup is taken care of. Tartar can cause staining on your teeth and gum tissue inflammation if left untreated. Plaque is the leading cause of gingivitis, causing your gums to swell and become red or bloody.
How To Keep Plaque Away
The most important step in keeping plaque at bay is to stick to a daily brushing routine. This means brushing twice each day, for two minutes each time, and flossing at least once daily. Plaque occurs naturally, and when you come into our office for a complete examination, we work with you to clean off any build-up. Maintaining regular visits to our office is one way to ensure tartar build-up is minimized and managed. It is particularly important that you are brushing your teeth all the way to the gum, because the gum line is an area that is prone to plaque buildup. Brush gently, as vigorous brushing will only do more damage than good, especially to your gums.
Sticking to your daily brushing and flossing routine will help keep your teeth free of plaque build-up. Make sure you are brushing in the morning and before bed. If you don’t brush before bed, bacteria and plaque will build up throughout the night. Schedule a visit to our office so our experienced, professional dental team can clean your teeth, giving you a smile you can be proud of.