A special dental tool scrapes plaque and tartar away from the lower arch of teeth

What Is Dental Plaque?

April 29, 2021 7:38 pm

Have you ever wondered why your teeth feel fuzzy when you wake up in the morning or when you eat a lot of sweets? This is a buildup of plaque.

Plaque is a sticky coating of bacteria that grows on the surface of teeth. When this bacteria consumes your dietary sugar, it creates acidic byproducts that wear away at tooth enamel. It also irritates the gums. If plaque isn’t removed daily, it can result in bad breath, tooth discoloration, sensitivity, cavities, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss.

Tips to Prevent Plaque Buildup

The best way to keep dental plaque at bay is to maintain excellent oral health habits:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth in gentle circular motions twice a day for two minutes each time. Many patients find that an electric toothbrush takes much of the “work” out of brushing and efficiently removes plaque and food particles.
  • Floss at least once a day to dislodge any trapped food debris and particles from between teeth and from under the gumline. A water flosser is a helpful tool, especially for those with braces.
  • Avoid tobacco products.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Consume a balanced diet low in sugar and starch.

Schedule Your Dental Cleaning!

In addition to maintaining a healthy smile at home, the American Dental Association encourages everyone to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. At your biannual cleaning, your hygienist will clean off any plaque and tartar, and assess your gum health.

Overdue for a dental cleaning and exam? At Riverstone Dental Care Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand the importance of preventive care and how it can minimize plaque buildup and dental disease down the road. Please contact us to schedule your appointment. We would love to hear from you!

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Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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