From preventing unsightly yellow marks from appearing on the teeth, to avoiding dental problems like cavities and gum disease, there are almost countless reasons to try to avoid plaque buildup. But many people don’t realize some of the simplest preventive steps they can take to keeping their teeth and gums healthy and plaque-free. If you care about your smile’s health, and its appearance, here is what you need to know about how plaque develops and why it’s important to stop it.
What is plaque and why should you prevent it?
Plaque bacteria, and many more, are in every mouth, but it is when they’re allowed to buildup on teeth that problems are created. Once plaque has calcified onto the teeth it is called tartar buildup, and it can only be removed through a professional cleaning. Unfortunately many people skip their regular appointments, not realizing there is a problem. And the longer tartar rests on teeth the longer it has to develop acidity, which can lead to cavities and many other dental issues, including gum disease.
Preventing plaque buildup
To prevent plaque from building up, there are several steps that can be taken. First, you can make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, though a third time around noon is helpful for many people. Using an electric toothbrush has helped many do a better job of plaque removal. Flossing daily is also crucial, as it removes food particles and bacteria that brushing leaves behind. Also consider tongue scrapers which have been shown to be the most effective means of removing bacteria from the tongue.
Another simple way to help prevent tartar buildup is by drinking lots of water, which can help rinse particles from the surface of teeth between brushings and can also keep the mouth hydrated, which helps a person produce saliva, which naturally makes it harder for plaque to calcify. Finally, limiting how much sugar you eat can also help, since the plaque bacteria feed on sugar, limiting it can help keep them from overdeveloping.
Remember, while cosmetic treatment can help provide a bright white smile, a smile’s beauty begins with healthy teeth and gums. These can best be obtained through a combination of at-home dental hygiene, and regular professional checkups.