Brush, floss, rinse your plaque away. It’s all about the plaque. Plaque, plaque, plaque… What is this stuff, anyway, and why does your dentist make such a fuss over it?
Understanding what dental plaque is and the risk it poses to your smile is critical to keeping your teeth and gums healthy for life.
It’s Not Just From Food
Some people are under the impression that dental plaque is just the buildup that collects from the food you chew. In reality, food is only part of the equation. Dental plaque starts with the fluids that your mouth naturally produces. Your teeth need moisture to stay clean and comfortable.
There are millions upon millions of bacteria that thrive in every person’s mouth. Bacteria grow and multiply in clusters. They even produce a slime of their own to protect their colonies. This slimy layer of bacteria clings to teeth and gums and mixes with debris from food you eat. This is dental plaque!
The Danger of Dental Plaque
Dental plaque – with all its oodles of bacteria – is an irritant to your gums. It’s never a great thing to leave it on your teeth for long! The biofilm develops within hours after brushing your teeth and can begin causing gum inflammation within days, if not removed.
Plaque is stickier if it has a high carbohydrate content. Sweet foods stick around and provide added fuel to the acid-producing bacteria. This acid (in addition to acid found in foods) wears enamel and causes cavities.
What You Can Do
Fight the plaque! Yes, we’re back at it again…
Brushing after every meal is ideal for reducing carbohydrates in your plaque. Daily flossing is a must! Antimicrobial mouthwashes can also slow down plaque formation, but don’t give up flossing completely.
Talk with your local dentist or hygienist for more tips on plaque control.
Posted on behalf of:
Cane Bay Family Dentistry
1724 State Rd #4D
Summerville, SC 29483
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