You’ve likely heard the term dental plaque used during your regular dental checkups, but do you know what it means? Understanding what dental plaque is and what it means for your overall oral health is important, as it can lead to cavities and other dental problems if it is not properly removed. Plaque is an extremely sticky deposit that regularly forms on your teeth and contains bacteria that produce acids that attack your tooth enamel.
In this post, we’ve broken down exactly what dental plaque is, what it does, and how you can get rid of it to keep your teeth and gums happy and healthy!
What Is Dental Plaque?
Dental plaque is caused when saliva, food, and fluids combine in your mouth.The environment they produce allows bacteria to grow and collect on your teeth and gums. There are a number of different foods that contribute to plaque buildup, including carbohydrates and sugars found in candy and sugary drinks. Eating these foods often can increase plaque bacteria, which if left untreated can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Plaque often gathers the most where your teeth and gums meet and can hide between teeth and below the gum line.
How to Prevent Plaque Buildup
The good news is that preventing plaque buildup is relatively easy. One of the best things you can do to help prevent plaque from building up in your mouth is to practice good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day and brushing after eating any sugary foods is one of the easiest ways to prevent plaque from building up on your teeth. Flossing regularly will help combat any plaque between your teeth and adding a mouthwash to your routine can help rinse away any lingering plaque in your mouth.
Getting Rid of Dental Plaque
While a good oral hygiene routine will help prevent plaque from building up on your teeth, it won’t eliminate it completely. To keep plaque buildup to a minimum and keep your teeth and gums healthy, you should visit your dentist regularly. Seeing a dentist every six months as well as maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is the best way to keep dental plaque at bay. Your dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly during your appointment and will be able to check for any signs of plaque-related diseases such as cavities and gum disease.
As persistent as dental plaque can be, the great news is that it is easy to prevent! Building good oral hygiene habits and sticking to them daily will not only keep your teeth and gums healthy and happy, but it will also help prevent any larger dental issues.