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What You Should Know About Dental Plaque

June 30, 2021

When it comes to the health of your teeth and gums, plaque is one of the most significant threats to the overall health of your mouth. The buildup of plaque can eventually lead to issues such as sensitive gums, receding gum line, toothache, cavities, and worse. All of these issues require professional dental treatment and some issues cannot be fixed without extensive dental surgery. 

Thankfully, with a few simple tips and a willingness to stick to a daily routine, you can prevent plaque from becoming out of control and as a result, keep your mouth safe from more serious consequences. Here is what you need to know about plaque and how to prevent its build up.

What is Dental Plaque? 

Dental plaque is a sticky, film-like substance that builds up on your teeth. The colors can vary from white to pale yellow and develop from saliva, liquids, and foods combined in your mouth.

Along with this natural mixture, plaque forms even faster from foods and drinks that contain sugars and carbohydrates. Typical examples include candy and soft drinks and even more seemingly innocent drinks such as milk. 

What makes plaque such a serious issue is that it contains large groups of bacteria that can gather between your gums and teeth. This bacteria numbers in the millions and, if left neglected, can begin to cause significant tartar build-up, gum inflammation (gingivitis), bad breath, and cavities.

How to Prevent Dental Plaque

Complications related to dental plaque are preventable, thanks to brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. By making sure you maintain a daily brushing and flossing regimen you keep harmful plaque build-up to a minimum. It is recommended that you brush and floss a minimum of two times a day, once in the morning and once in the evening to maintain a healthy smile. 

Along with regular brushing and flossing, using a mouthwash is an important part of a healthy mouth care routine. When choosing a good mouthwash, look for one that is created to fight tartar build-up and contains fluoride. When using mouthwash, make sure to swish it in your mouth for a full 30 seconds before spitting it out. While the taste of some mouthwash products may at first be overpowering, do not rinse your mouth out with water after swishing as the mouthwash will continue to work even after your rinse.

Finally, the right toothbrush also plays a significant role in reducing plaque. Using an electric toothbrush is more effective in cleaning all corners of your mouth than a normal toothbrush may have difficulty reaching . If you use an electric toothbrush, make sure to replace the brush head every three months. 

If you choose to use a regular toothbrush, make sure to replace the brush every three to four months. A regular toothbrush should also be soft bristled as it protects against damaging the enamel on your teeth along with the roots and gums. 

Regular Dental Visits

Regular dentist visits should be a part of every healthy oral routine. You should be seeing your dentist every six months to make sure your mouth is examined and adequately cleaned. Doing this reduces the risk of plaque build-up and drastically cuts down the risk of more severe issues such as cavities. 

Your dentist can even speak to you about your cleaning routine and even give you helpful advice on what you can improve, the right toothpaste and toothbrushes to use, and even the most effective flossing techniques.

Never Neglect Your Mouth

While it may seem like a lot of work in the beginning to make sure your mouth is safe from plaque build-up, sticking to a daily routine is essential in preventing more severe side effects later on. It’s easy to forget about flossing after a meal or skipping that quick swish of mouthwash before bed, but it is never worth it. Remember, keeping plaque under control is easy if you follow these rules:

  1. Brush two times a day for two minutes.
  2. Floss two times a day, making sure you get every space between all of your teeth.
  3. Use mouthwash two times a day.
  4. Use antiplaque toothpaste and mouthwash.

Let Carrie Munzy DDS Help You With Your Dental Care Needs

At Carrie Muzny DDS and Associates, we are here to take care of your oral health. We want you to find the right dentist. We offer a range of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services. 

From cleanings to fillings, to whitening and veneers, we provide everything you need to get the smile you deserve. We cover several insurance providers, provide a variety of services, and have experience in many areas of dentistry. Contact us today for a consultation, and let’s show the world your brilliant smile.

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