Did your dentist ever really show you how to remove plaque from your teeth? Dental plaque is the sticky, uncomfortable biofilm that forms around your gum line just hours after brushing your teeth. It’s the product of hundreds of types of oral bacteria gathering in your mouth. When left unattended, it can quickly calcify into tartar. Tarter is insoluble and no amount of toothpaste, baking soda, or water can remove it.
Plaque biofilm is constantly forming on our teeth. Typically, the first layer of bacteria to attach to the tissues of the mouth are Streptococcus and Actinomyces. Both are actually beneficial to our gums. More dangerous bacteria follow, though, and cling to your teeth and gums. This mixture of bacteria eventually leads to gum disease.
Slowing plaque development is the most important way to stop tartar from developing. This will and reduce your risks of dental issues like cavities and gum disease. Advanced gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. One way to lower your risk for developing tartar is to follow these simple steps.
Plaque Removal by Electric Toothbrush
Using an electric toothbrush is an excellent way to remove plaque from your teeth. A quality electric toothbrush can last for several years or longer. We recommend purchasing a name brand product, such as Phillips Sonicare, to ensure that the product delivers quality cleanings. There are many advantages to using these advanced cleaning devices. Electric toothbrushes vibrate at ultra-high speeds, removing plaque more effectively than a manual toothbrush can.
One important advantage of an electric toothbrush is the built-in timer, which is usually set for two minutes. Most adults brush often but not for long enough periods. The timer feature can go a long way to ensure that hard to remove tartar deposits do not build up. Make sure that you are taking good care of your toothbrush.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits to Remove Plaque and Tartar
Are you overdue for a preventive dental care visit? Twice a year cleanings, along with good oral hygiene habits, are two of your best tools for preventing buildup. These cleaning visits remove buildup that is constantly forming on your teeth. This sticky colorless film hardens into tartar within days. The colorless film of bacteria in plaque produces acids that inflames the gums leading to gingivitis. Only a dental professional can successfully remove the tartar buildup.
During your visit, one of our skilled hygienists will carefully remove biofilm buildup from the base of your teeth. Dentists have special tools that can remove even the toughest deposits of plaque and tartar. Once you experience the benefits of professionally cleaned teeth, you will be motivated to maintain your brighter smile. Be sure to ask the staff to show you how to remove plaque from your teeth.
Regular exams also allow Dr. James Fondriest to check for tooth decay or gum disease. Early treatments can prevent costly procedures down the road.
Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet lessen Plaque Buildup
Plant based diets are good for your body and your tooth enamel. Crunchy, uncooked vegetables, such as carrots and celery, can remove plaque during the chewing process. A plant based diet is lower in sugar, which helps your mouth maintain healthy acidity levels. Bacterial plaque thrives on sugars and starches. Finally, vegetables help your body to remain healthy overall, which means you will have a healthier immune system.
Don’t Skip Brushing and Flossing
The American Dental Association suggests that you should brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss daily. However, how many times do you skip it to save time? Skipping a couple of days can leave your teeth and gums vulnerable.
Even when you do remember, it is important to allow adequate time to brushing and flossing. Two minutes of mindful and focused brushing is needed to adequately clean teeth. If your gums have a red swollen look, brush into the gumline. The bacteria resides right where it hurts.
It is really important to brush just before bed. Leaving plaque on your teeth all night breeds trouble. Waiting too long in between brushings, any plaque already present will most likely calcify into tartar. Also consider tongue scrapers which have been shown to be the most effective means of removing bacteria from the tongue.
Brushing with toothpaste is extremely important until you are 16 years of age. The bacterial biofilm is most active from the time the first teeth come in until the mid teens. The fluorides in toothpastes are mainly designed to prevent cavity growth in the early years of life.
Another demographic that should have fluoridated toothpastes are those over 60 years of age. This group is more susceptible to cavities on the roots. There have been studies showing the neutral pH fluorides are better for older people.
Drink Water Constantly to Reduce Plaque
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. Water helps ensure a healthy and abundant flow of saliva. Chewing gum can be good for your teeth because it also stimulates saliva flow.
Maintain Oral Health, Don’t Snack too Often
Oral bacteria are a threat because they metabolize nutrients and convert them into harmful toxins and acids. You can reduce the toxin buildup by refraining from snacking too often. The more often you eat, the greater your risk will be of developing a dental disease. Sodas and sweets foods that stick to the teeth are the worst offenders.
Learn a good oral hygiene routine including how to remove plaque from teeth
Lack of proper plaque and tartar removal will always threaten your smile. If your gums are bleeding when you brush, you have gum problems. With good hygiene and your dentist’s help, you can consistently prevent any problems. Learn how to prevent plaque buildup and get or recommendations for top rated oral hygiene products. Schedule a consultation by calling our dentist office in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We offer dental consultations to residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities.