We all know that plaque isn’t good for us. Yet what is plaque, what causes it and how can we prevent or get rid of it? Discover all the important facts about the sticky substance on your teeth.
Plaque is a thin coating of bacteria that covers the teeth. As plaque forms continuously, it must be removed regularly or it can harden and cause gingivitis, gum disease or tooth decay. There are several reasons some people experience excess plaque on their teeth: poor brushing technique, forgetting to brush, forgetting to floss and avoiding the dentist.
Forgetting to Brush
Brushing your teeth twice a day will keep most plaque off your teeth, because bacteria that cause plaque generally affix to your teeth after you eat. Keeping up with your brushing is the best way to prevent plaque.
Poor Brushing Technique
Some people also have issues keeping plaque at bay because they don’t properly brush their teeth. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and brush each quadrant of your mouth. Brush for at least two minutes.
Forgetting to Floss
Food and bacteria can slide between your teeth and wreak havoc, too. To avoid plaque between teeth, floss at least two times each day.
Avoiding the Dentist
One of the most important ways to keep your teeth healthy is to visit your dentist at least twice per year. Your dentist will remove any plaque that you may have missed while brushing or flossing.
If you’re dealing with serious plaque issues, visit your dentist to get your teeth professionally cleaned. Your dentist can help you with most surface problems with plaque — and some more serious issues.
If your plaque has gotten out of control, your dentist may recommend a deep-scale cleaning. This type of cleaning generally takes at least two visits. Your dentist will numb your gums and scrape the plaque off your teeth and from underneath your gums with a special tool.
To avoid plaque in the future, make sure you keep up with your brushing and flossing and visit the dentist at least twice a year.