Monthly Archives: February 2013

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What Are The Main Causes Of Plaque?

Tooth PlaquePlaque is mixture of bacteria and the chemicals that they produce. These chemicals are known by the name of mucopolysaccharides and they produce an adhesive film called a biofilm that enables bacteria to attach themselves to your teeth. When plaque first develops, this biofilm is fragile and easy to remove. However, if you aren’t successful at removing this biofilm, the bacteria inside of it are able to damage your tooth enamel. Over time, this biofilm becomes hard and creates tartar, which can’t be brushed off. When tartar develops above your gum line, it can cause gum disease.

Keeping your teeth free from plaque isn’t difficult when you learn more about the causes of plaque and brush your teeth twice daily, every day using a toothpaste containing fluoride. The exact technique that you use isn’t as important as ensuring that you brush all of the surfaces of your teeth. However, if you’re concerned that your brushing technique isn’t up to scratch, we will be happy to educate you on such matters.

Brushing your teeth shouldn’t be your only defense against plaque. Brushing often fails to clean out the small spaces between your teeth. However, plaque loves to make itself at home here. Daily flossing will aid you in clearing plaque from in between your teeth. It also removes plaque at the level of your gum line – another area brushing fails to reach. Mouth rinses containing antibacterial agents are also able to reduce plaque and prevent you from suffering from bad breath. If you don’t already use a mouth rinse, consider doing so.

Even when you brush and floss daily, you won’t be able to remove all of the plaque on and around your teeth. Plaque that’s hardened into tartar can’t be removed in the home — it can only be removed by your dentist. If you miss your dental appointments, you’ll be at a greater risk of developing cavities and at worst, losing your teeth altogether. Once yearly teeth cleanings are essential in the fight against plaque. However, if you’re more prone to plaque than most, twice yearly cleanings may be advisable.

Eating healthily can also help to scrub plaque off your teeth. Crunchy vegetables, such as carrots and celery, can assist in maintaining the health of your teeth, despite the fact that they contain natural sugars. Eating large amounts of candy and drinking sugary drinks provides bacteria with the sugar they need to survive and therefore contributes to the formation of plaque. Avoiding these foods can aid you in keeping your plaque levels in check.

While you can’t keep your teeth free from plaque 24 hours of the day, good oral hygiene habits can aid you in defending against plaque. Be sure to see your dentist at least once every six months to keep your teeth clean and healthy.