Causes & Treatment of Plaque Buildup

Plaque Buildup​​​​​​​
  • By Courthouse Art of Dentistry
  • June 11, 2021
  • Have you ever paid attention to the fuzzy or slippery coating on your teeth when you wake up in the morning? Maybe you have even felt it on your teeth at the end of the day. That coating is plaque, and it finds itself on your teeth every single day.


    What Causes Plaque to Form in Your Mouth?

    Plaque is a biofilm and is made up of living microbes that grow in your mouth. Every time you eat or drink something, you introduce new things into your mouth. Sugary foods feed the bacteria, and then you have plaque. The film forms constantly, and the best thing you can do is remove it before it can cause significant issues.

    Tooth decay happens as plaque makes its way under your gums, eating away at the teeth below the gumline. At that point, you are looking at cavities and even gingivitis. Left untreated, it can advance to full-blown periodontal disease.

    Dentists recognize plaque even if you cannot see it yourself. It is usually a pale yellow or clear color, so it is an easy thing to miss when you are trying to identify it on your own.


    How Can You Treat Plaque Buildup?

    If you brush and floss daily, you can remove plaque easily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for best performance. Even with regular brushing and flossing, plaque can still build up in your mouth and become tartar. Tartar can only be removed at your dentist’s office by a trained professional.

    Getting a regular dental checkup is crucial to your dental care, along with brushing regularly. If you are not crazy about regular toothbrushes, you should consider an electric toothbrush. Remember to choose one approved by the American Dental Association to be sure you made a good choice.


    What Are Some Ways to Prevent Plaque Buildup?

    Prevention is always best, so you want to keep up with a regular dental routine. Brush twice a day for two minutes at a time and floss daily. Brushing after eating sugary foods is also a good idea. However, you will want to wait at least twenty minutes before brushing due to acids that naturally accumulate in your mouth after eating.

    Since plaque can accumulate between your teeth, you cannot forget to floss on both sides of your teeth. Once you floss, you want to follow up with a good mouthwash to reach the areas you could not get to, so you do not accidentally leave any food particles behind.

    Selecting good toothpaste is also critical in good oral hygiene. Your best choices are approved by the ADA and contain fluoride. Fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel and helps in cavity prevention. When in doubt, ask your dentist for his or her recommendation.

    If you would like to schedule a cleaning or ask questions about the proper oral hygiene techniques, call us at Courthouse Art of Dentistry at 703-260-9600 to book an appointment. You can also visit our office in Arlington, Virginia.