You are likely to hear the word “plaque” when purchasing a toothbrush, toothpaste, or visiting our dental office. Due to plaque buildup, it is extremely important to maintain a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day for at least two minutes, as well as flossing regularly. Find out how plaque can harm your smile and what you can do to prevent it.
Plaque—what is it?
If you haven’t brushed your teeth for a while, you might feel a film-like, sticky buildup. Essentially, it is plaque, which is a layer of bacteria that adheres to your teeth. Plaque cannot be prevented, but brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits can minimize its accumulation.
What does plaque look like?
Although plaque is technically colorless, it gives your teeth the appearance of being “fuzzy.” Due to its sticky nature, plaque may cause some discoloration because it can attract food particles. As plaque hardens and becomes yellow, it is referred to as tartar.
How are plaque and tartar different?
Plaque that remains on your teeth for several days hardens into tartar, which must be removed. When tartar builds up in your mouth, your teeth may appear yellow and smell unpleasant, making it difficult to thoroughly clean your mouth.
The Effects of Plaque on Your Teeth and Mouth
Without regular brushing and flossing, plaque accumulates and multiplies. Leaving plaque untreated can lead to the formation of tartar (also known as calculus). In addition, plaque produces an acid that damages teeth, causing them to decay. Your teeth may become stained if tartar is left untreated. Plaque is the main cause of gingivitis, which results in swollen, red, or bleeding gums. By having regular dental cleanings and examinations, you can ensure that any buildup on your teeth is thoroughly removed.
Here are some steps you can take.
Plaque buildup can be prevented by maintaining a daily brushing routine. It is recommended that you brush twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss once a day at the very least. The formation of plaque is a natural process, and when you visit our office for a complete examination, we work with you to remove any buildup. It is critical to maintain regular visits to our office in order to minimize and manage tartar buildup. Brushing your teeth all the way to the gum line is particularly important because the gum line is prone to plaque build-up. It is important to brush gently, as vigorous brushing will only cause more harm than good, especially to the gums.
We invite you to schedule a visit to our office so our experienced, professional dental team can clean and examine your teeth providing you with the healthy smile you deserve. Contact us today.