Dental plaque is the sticky, uncomfortable biofilm that forms on your teeth and gums just hours after brushing your teeth. It’s the product of hundreds of types of oral bacteria gathering in your mouth, and when left unattended, it can quickly calcify into tartar. The difference is that tartar is insoluble – no amount of toothpaste and water can remove it. Therefore, slowing plaque development is the most important way to stop tartar from developing and reduce your risks of dental issues like cavities and gum disease.
1. Don’t skip brushing and flossing
You know you should brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss at least once. However, how many times do you skip a session to save time? Even if you stick to your hygiene routine consistently for years, skipping even one session can leave your teeth and gums vulnerable to plaque development. Any plaque already present will most likely calcify into tartar by the time you brush your teeth again.
2. Drink water constantly
Most oral bacteria, especially the harmful ones, are anaerobic, meaning they can’t thrive when exposed to oxygen. Therefore water and saliva (which is almost 99 percent water) are natural defense mechanisms against plaque and tartar. Drinking water routinely rinses away harmful bacteria and food particles, and it helps ensure a healthy and abundant flow of saliva throughout the day.
3. Don’t snack too often
Oral bacteria are a threat because they metabolize nutrients and convert them into harmful toxins and acids. Besides consistently removing the bacteria, you can also lower your chances of tartar development by refraining from snacking too often. The more often you eat, the more substances oral bacteria produce, and the greater your risk will be of developing a dental disease.
Learn How to Beat Back Plaque and Tartar
Plaque and tartar will always threaten your smile, but with good hygiene and your dentist’s help, you can consistently prevent it from lingering too long. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of West Forest Lake, Kennedy, Lake Bluff, Skokie, Junction, and all surrounding communities.