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 and water can remove it. Plaque biofilm is continuously 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 microorganisms eventually leads to gum disease.
There are multiple reasons why 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. 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.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits for Plaque and Tarter Removal
Twice-a-year cleanings, along with good oral hygiene habits, are two of your best tools for preventing build-up. These cleaning visits remove buildup that you can’t see but isn’t removed by everyday personal hygiene. 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 if the staff doesn’t show you how to remove plaque from your teeth.
Regular exams also allow Dr. James Fondriest to search for signs of 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 teeth. 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
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. 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 you wait too long in between brushing, any plaque already present will most likely calcify into tartar by the time you brush your teeth again.
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, and it helps ensure a healthy and abundant flow of saliva throughout the day.
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 bacterial plaque, 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 more about how to remove plaque from teeth
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 Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.