What is dental plaque?
Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. It is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque is colorless and transparent, so it can be difficult to see. However, it can become visible over time as it hardens into tartar.
How does dental plaque form?
Dental plaque forms when the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and carbohydrates in your food and drinks. When the bacteria feed, they produce acids that attack your teeth.
Why is dental plaque harmful?
Dental plaque can cause a number of problems, including:
- Tooth decay: Cavities are caused by the acids in plaque attacking your tooth enamel. If cavities are not treated, they can lead to tooth loss.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums. It is caused by the toxins produced by plaque bacteria. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
- Bad breath: Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by the bacteria in plaque.
How can I prevent dental plaque?
There are a number of things you can do to prevent dental plaque, including:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces. Pay special attention to the area where your teeth meet your gums, as this is where plaque tends to accumulate.
- Floss once a day. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach.
- Use a mouthwash. Mouthwash can help to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. However, it is important to note that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing.
- Eat a healthy diet. Avoid sugary foods and drinks. Limit your intake of processed foods and red meat. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Drink plenty of water. Water helps to flush away bacteria and food particles from your mouth.
- Quit smoking. Smoking weakens your gums and makes you more susceptible to gum disease.
How can I remove dental plaque?
If you have dental plaque, you can remove it by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. You should also see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Your dentist can remove tartar and plaque that you cannot remove yourself.
What are the symptoms of dental plaque?
The early signs of dental plaque may not be noticeable. However, as plaque builds up, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- A sticky film on your teeth
- Bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks
- Loose teeth
How often should I see my dentist for a checkup and cleaning?
It is generally recommended that you see your dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. However, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits if you have a history of tooth decay or gum disease.
Contact us today at Sbenati Dentistry to schedule a consultation and let us help you with any of your dental needs. [https://calendly.com/sbenatidentistry/interview]
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