When buying a toothbrush, toothpaste, or 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 Plaque?
If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might feel
a film-like, sticky buildup on your teeth. This is plaque, a bacteria layer
that grips onto 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 your teeth.
What Plaque Does to
Your Teeth & Mouth
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 if left untreated. Plaque is the leading cause
of gingivitis, causing your gums to swell and become red or bloody.
What You Can Do
The most important steps of keeping plaque in check 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 buildup. Maintaining regular visits to our office is one way
to ensure tartar buildup 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 buildup. 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.
For more tips on keeping your teeth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.