The Importance of Plaque Removal
- Posted on: Nov 19 2018
Plaque is a threat to your dental health, but by taking a few easy steps, you can make sure it doesn’t cause long-lasting damage.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a soft, sticky film made up of germs and bacteria that regularly form on your teeth. It ranges from invisible to pale yellow in color, so you may probably won’t be able to see it.
How does plaque form?
Plaque forms when carbohydrates are frequently left on your teeth. As it mixes with saliva, bacteria that live in your mouth feed on these foods and produce acids, and the combination of these substances causes a chemical reaction that forms plaque. In addition to forming on your teeth, plaque can also be found under your gum line, on the roots of your teeth.
How is plaque removed, and does this process hurt?
Since plaque is soft, removing it usually isn’t difficult if you follow a consistent dental routine:
- Brush: Brush your teeth thoroughly for at least two minutes twice a day. You should use an anti-plaque, fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss: Floss once daily to remove plaque from in between your teeth. If you have a difficult time using regular floss, try dental picks or slide flossers.
- Use mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with a plaque-fighting mouthwash after brushing. This helps prevent the growth of plaque by killing bacteria.
- See your dentist regularly: Regular dental visits and professional cleanings can also help remove plaque and keep it from building up.
Can plaque buildup lead to any long-term negative effects?
If plaque is allowed to build up and remain on your teeth, it can cause damage that includes the following:
- Cavities: The bacteria in your plaque combine with carbohydrates and produce acid, which eats away at your tooth enamel. This can cause your enamel to break down, causing tooth decay.
- Gum disease: Plaque that remains on your teeth can harden into tartar, which collects at the gum line. This causes your gums to become red and swollen and can result in gum disease.
- Bad breath: Plaque buildup can cause bad breath.
How can you avoid the buildup of plaque?
The following habits can help you avoid the buildup of plaque:
- Eat a healthy diet: Limit between-meal snacks and carbohydrates – especially sticky foods.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking increases the amount of plaque you have and can cause gum disease to get worse more quickly.
- Practice good at-home oral care: Brush twice daily for at least two minutes with an anti-plaque fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily and also use plaque-fighting mouthwash.
- See your dentist: A professional cleaning twice a year can remove built-up plaque. Regular dental visits can also help detect problems in their earliest stages, before they get worse and cause more damage, becoming more complicated to treat.
For regular dental care and to help avoid plaque buildup, make an appointment with Concerned Dental Care of New York City. We have many locations for your convenience and provide quality dentistry delivered with compassion at affordable prices.