Think about the last time you woke up with the familiar morning film on your teeth. You may or may not know that is the sign of plaque build-up, but I bet you hopped out of bed immediately and grabbed your toothbrush.
As the principal cause of so many oral health concerns, plaque can affect both your teeth and your gums, if not regulated daily. While the presence of plaque is normal, allowing it to build up and remain on your teeth and gums can lead to troublesome issues like cavities, unhealthy gums, and tooth decay.
Everyone is probably familiar with plaque to some extent, but the more you know about this mysterious substance the better your chances of a happy bill of health at your next visit with Dr. Parr at Surf City Dental!
What is Plaque?
Plaque is a soft, sticky, usually colorless film filled with bacteria that builds up on your teeth. The bacteria contain acid that attacks tooth enamel after a meal. If the plaque buildup isn’t treated through frequent brushing daily, and after meals, it could lead to a visit from plaque’s less forgiving friend, tartar.
Tartar can be more problematic because it forms a hard consistency, making it difficult to remove yourself. At the first sign of tartar, you have missed the boat with at-home treatment methods and must go see a dentist to get it removed. If tartar persists, it could lead to discolored teeth or a barrier that hinders your ability to properly clean your teeth.
The accumulation of plaque and/or tartar can lead to the following health concerns:
- Tartar buildup
- Bleeding Gums
- Discolored or Stained Teeth
Plaque Buildup: How to Attack Plaque
Due to the lack of color and consistency of plaque, it is difficult to detect by anyone but a health professional. Luckily for us, preventing buildup is straightforward and involves practices that should already make up your regular routine. Plaque is constantly producing in your mouth so there is no getting rid of it, but you can keep in check with a couple of steps.
Brushing and flossing twice a day combats plaque buildup and is the foundation of keeping your teeth well-maintained. The brushing and flossing combo complement each other nicely and ensure that you are leaving no stone unturned. Flossing is the perfect method of removing food particles and plaque buildup from every nook and cranny that your toothbrush can’t.
There are a few other simple practices to add to your plaque prevention arsenal. Using mouthwash can help remove plaque in a pinch but should be used in conjunction with brushing and flossing. Staying away from sugary foods limits the possibility of bacteria and acid buildup and boosts your overall health in the process. A win-win!
Visit Us at Surf City Dental!
Of course, regular visits to your dentist are key to combating plaque buildup for a variety of reasons. You may consider yourself a decent brusher, but it is impossible to see everything in the far reaches of your mouth without a dentist’s expertise and tools.
Be vigilant in your oral health care and give us at Surf City Dental a call today. We would love to hear from you!