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causes of plaque buildup and how to prevent it

What causes plaque? And how to prevent and treat it.

When your goal is to maintain a beautiful, healthy smile, you know that plaque is your enemy. Plaque is a film of bacteria that’s colorless, sticky and can build up on your teeth when you don’t brush regularly. This bacteria formation can make teeth feel almost fuzzy and if not removed properly, can lead to bigger problems when it develops into tartar and possible gum disease.

Causes and Complications of plaque

Plaque forms on the teeth when they’re exposed to carbohydrate-filled foods including soft drinks, candy, and milk. These foods full of starch and sugar create problems when their residue remains on the teeth as the bacteria living in the mouth thrive on them, producing damaging acids. Without proper brushing to remove these bacteria, the acids can destroy tooth enamel and cause decay. When plaque develops under the gum line on the tooth roots, this can breakdown the bone that supports teeth and lead to eventual tooth loss if left untreated.

Preventing plaque build up

Everyone develops plaque due to the bacteria that constantly grow in the mouth and problems develop when plaque builds up as this can irritate and inflame the gums. Preventing the buildup of plaque is easy when you practice good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste goes a long way toward removing bacteria that leads to plaque. It’s important to brush along the gum line to prevent the development of plaque in that area. Additional ways to prevent plaque include:

  • Flossing daily between teeth to remove bacteria and food particles
  • Visit the dentist at least every six months for a professional cleaning and exam
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet with snacks such as fruit, vegetables or cheese instead of sugary treats. Chewing on vegetables like celery can help neutralize plaque-causing acids and remove food particles.
  • Use an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce oral bacteria

Removing plaque

You can remove plaque buildup with proper oral hygiene practices every day. If plaque isn’t properly removed and develops into tartar, you can experience bigger problems than a sticky film on your teeth. Tartar is easier to see than plaque and that’s not a good thing as the brown or yellow deposit can lead to decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. The only way to remove plaque that’s developed into tartar is with a professional dental cleaning. The longer tartar remains on the teeth, the more problems it creates.

If your teeth aren’t looking as clean, bright and healthy as they should, contact Creative Dental to set up an appointment for an exam, cleaning and teeth whitening.

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