You often hear during toothpaste commercials on how effective they are at fighting against plaque. If you run your tongue over your teeth right now, you might even feel a thin, sticky film that seems to always establish its presence despite your thorough brushing. That is plaque. Our mouths are a home to microorganisms. It is important that we keep those under regulation so that it doesn’t induce negative consequences on our oral hygiene and health later down the line. The first step in doing so is by educating yourself and preventing dental caries before they start. The first step is tackling plaque buildup.
What exactly is plaque?
As mentioned before, plaque is a soft and sticky coating on your teeth. You can especially feel it when you wake up first thing in the morning. This sticky layer helps microorganisms stick to the surface of your teeth. These microorganisms are introduced when you eat and drink. They are common and normal, but if we don’t regulate them, complications can arise.
How does plaque buildup affect my oral health?
Over time, the minerals and calcium in our saliva become absorbed by the bacteria in plaque. As a result, the previous soft plaque starts to harden around your teeth especially near the gum line. It becomes what is known as calculus. If left unregulated, the calculus buildup can result in gum inflammation, sensitivity, gum recession, and bone loss.
How can I minimize the effects of plaque buildup?
The first step is flossing your teeth everyday, especially at night in addition to brushing twice a day. This helps remove the bacteria that is hiding between the crevices of your teeth near the gum line. Finally, be consistent with your dental cleaning appointments! Our goal as your provider is to prevent decay before it has the chance to start. We want you to be able to keep your teeth healthy for a long, long time!
If you have any other dental concerns or questions regarding plaque, please do not hesitate to ask us at your next appointment!