We’ve all heard that we should brush and floss our teeth every day, as well as visit our dentist in North Central San Antonio every six months, in order to prevent plaque from building up. But what exactly is plaque anyway? What causes it to form? And how can you prevent it from accumulating? Continue reading to learn the answers.
What Is Plaque?
Dental plaque is a sticky film that constantly forms on your teeth. It’s made of saliva, bits of food, and bacteria. When they combine, it forms deposits in the spaces where your gums meet your teeth. From there, they attack your tooth enamel and gums, which can easily result in cavities and gum disease. While plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, once it hardens into a substance called tartar, it can only be removed by a dental professional.
What Causes Plaque Buildup?
When bots of food and drink combine with the bacteria that are ever-present in your mouth, it forms plaque. This is especially common when you consume a lot of starches, and foods and beverages high in sugar. For your dental health as well as your waistline, it’s best to keep these foods and drinks to a minimum.
How Can You Prevent Plaque?
To prevent plaque and tartar accumulation, it’s best to stay on top of your oral hygiene. You can do that by sticking to these steps:
- Visit your dentist every 6 months to get all traces of tartar and plaque taken care of by a professional.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with an anti-plaque fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day to remove particles of food from between your teeth and attracting bacteria.
- Use an electric toothbrush, and remember to replace the head every 3 months. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are much better at fighting off plaque than their manual counterparts.
- Quit smoking, as that can increase plaque.
- After you brush and floss, use an antibacterial mouthwash to remove any bits of plaque that may still be left in your mouth.
When it comes to dental plaque, it’s much easier for you to prevent it before it builds up than try to treat it afterwards. Follow the steps listed above to help make prevention that much easier.
About the Author
Dr. Brian Eck is now entering his thirty-fifth year of dentistry. He is a member of the San Antonio Dental Society, the American Dental Association, and the Texas Dental Association. In 2018 he was voted one of the Top Dentists in San Antonio. For more advice on how to disrupt plaque before it turns into tartar, contact the doctor here or call (210) 361-8905.