How to Prevent Plaque Buildup
Plaque, also known as dental biofilm or tooth plaque is a soft, sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It is most noticeable when an individual does not brush his or her teeth. When fluids, food, and saliva combine, they produce plaque. Since plaque contains bacteria, if you do not brush often, plaque buildup on your teeth produces acids that attack your tooth enamel. If an individual does not go for treatment soon, it can become permanent. It is vital to brush and floss regularly to prevent tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Spotting Plaque on Teeth Early Enough
Plaque is pale yellow or mostly colorless. Its appearance makes it hard to spot. It is best to visit a dentist at least twice a year for an oral examination. Dentists use special mirrors to check for plaque and use a dental scaler to remove the plaque from between the teeth. Since all teeth are unique, your dentist can provide you with tips on how to brush and floss properly. With that, you should prevent plaque from building up.
To check if you have removed all plaque from between your teeth when you brush, try to use plaque-disclosing tablets. These tablets stain your teeth and expose any plaque on your teeth. If you find a plaque, your brushing and plaque removal efforts need to improve.
What to Expect if You Do Not Deal With Dental Plaque
Plaque buildup has serious consequences. If you do not take the necessary steps to prevent plaque, it can lead to the following:
Bad breath: Plaque builds up due to poor dental hygiene. It can cause you to have bad breath, affecting your social life.
Gingivitis: Buildup of bacteria that causes plaque can lead to gum inflammation.
Cavities: Bacteria produces acids, which, in turn, lowers the PH level in your mouth. These acids eat away at your tooth enamel as well.
How Can You Prevent Plaque Formation?
As mentioned earlier, brush your teeth regularly. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush on your teeth, and brush at least twice a day. Pay particular attention to space where the teeth and gums meet. Floss after brushing to remove bacteria and food particles between teeth.
Use a mouthwash with antibacterial to reduce bacteria that cause gum disease. You can also use dental sealants. Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are very thin. They are painted on chewing surfaces of teeth to help protect against decay and cavities.
Make at least two visits to the dentist every year for a dental examination and teeth cleaning. Eat a balanced diet. Also, limit the number of snacks between meals. For snacks, opt for nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruits, cheese, or plain yogurt.
When plaque remains on the surface of a tooth for long, it forms into tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar brushing and flossing cannot remove it. Tartar bonds strongly on the enamel and require professional techniques to remove it. This is why it is advisable to remove plaque from your teeth before it forms into tartar. Tartar not only causes dental decay, but it can also cause teeth discoloration.
At Courthouse Art of Dentistry, we have a team of highly qualified and specialized dentists who work hard to solve dental problems. We provide professional teeth cleaning, full-mouth restorations, and periodontal care, among others at affordable prices. To book an appointment, call 703-260-9600 or visit us at our offices in Arlington, Virginia