When you run your tongue over your teeth, do your teeth feel fuzzy or mildly bumpy? This is called plaque and the vast majority of people have it on their teeth to varying degrees. Though it may seem to just be bothersome, it can actually cause a variety of issues to the teeth and gums if not adequately cleaned.
What is Dental Plaque?
Dental plaque, most often referred to simply as plaque, is a sticky bacteria film that rests on top of the teeth. Contrary to popular belief, plaque doesn’t simply form and grow on top of the teeth, it can also develop under the gums and cause it to break down. If this happens, the gums may not be able to properly support the teeth. Plaque can also destroy tooth enamel, making the gums more susceptible to gum disease and also putting the teeth at risk for cavity development.
Though plaque goes hand in hand with eating any food, there are certain foods that promote plaque development. Sugary and starchy food and drinks promote plaque buildup over time. While food contributes a lot to buildup, there are also other factors that contribute to plaque buildup. Some examples of these are smoking and having chronic dry mouth.
If you are noticing large plaque buildups on or around your teeth you need to act quickly. When plaque and saliva mix, they can form tartar. While plaque can be removed at home, tartar is much harder to remove and will require. the intervention of a dentist. If you have large plaque buildups or are beginning to notice tartar buildups, you should schedule a dental cleaning at your earliest convenience and ask your dentist how you can prevent buildups like that from happening in the future.
How to Get Rid of Dental Plaque
Though large plaque buildups may require a dentist to remove, most plaque cases can be solved at home in a few simple ways. Some of the best ways to remove and prevent plaque buildups are:
- Brushing your teeth- Brushing your teeth is the best defense against plaque buildups. You should make sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes for optimal results.
- Flossing every day- While brushing can help remove plaque from the front and back of your teeth, it doesn’t help remove the plaque stuck between your teeth. Flossing daily can remove all plaque and food debris from between your teeth and ensure that cavities and tartar won’t form.
- Using mouthwash every day- Using an over-the-counter mouthwash at least once a day should help prevent harmful bacteria and plaque from forming in certain areas of your mouth.
In addition to these preventative steps, it is also important to make sure that you are visiting your dentist twice a year or once every 6 months to address any dental concerns that you have.
If you need help removing your plaque, contact the experts at RenovaSmiles. Our dental professionals will help you remove any stubborn plaque and help you prevent it from coming back.