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brushing teeth plaque

What is plaque and how do I prevent it?

brushing teeth plaque

Plaque is a soft film of bacteria that develops on your teeth and around your gums. It’s common to experience plaque if you have not kept up with your dental routine of brushing 2 times a day and flossing. If left untreated it could lead to several dental issues.

What can plaque do to my teeth?

If plaque is not removed from your teeth it could turn into tartar, a hard deposit that could lead to tooth decay. Tartar is difficult to remove, often collecting around the line where your gum and teeth meet. Your dentist can easily remove it if you have frequent cleanings, however, it’s always best to follow a proper teeth cleaning routine to prevent it from building up.

If no cleanup is done to remove the plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the teeth, this could lead to gingivitis. A dental cleaning is necessary to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria. If not, this could lead to bleeding or swollen gums. Gingivitis is easy to treat, however, it could lead to periodontitis if it continues to be left untreated. This severe form of gum infection could cause the bones supporting your teeth to break down, leading to tooth loss.

Prevent plaque on your teeth

Even though it’s easy to get plaque buildup, it’s also easy to prevent it if you follow the right steps, such as:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush with fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to brush where your teeth and gums meet, but not too hard since you could damage your gums.
  • Floss every day: Flossing gets in between your teeth and removes food debris and bacteria that cause plaque buildup. Flossing not only helps prevent cavities and gum disease, but also more serious health problems like heart disease.
  • Avoid snacking: The more often you snack, the more chances plaque has to grow on your teeth. If you need a snack between meals, try eating crunchy veggies or fruits like carrots or apples, which remove food debris and increase saliva, which fights plaque acids.
  • Receive a dental cleaning twice a year: It’s only during a dental cleaning that your tartar (hardened plaque) can be scraped off with a special instrument. It’s vital to visit your dentist, and get your tartar removed to avoid serious dental health issues.

A healthy mouth begins with proper dental care

The sooner you get a professional teeth cleaning, the sooner your mouth will be refreshed and back to health. Skipped one too many teeth cleanings? Contact Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry today for your appointment.

Get started on your healthy, beautiful smile today!