Plaque is one of the biggest threats to both the health and appearance of your smile. The things that you do at home to clean your smile, and the preventative treatments that our Toluca Lake dentists perform in-office, are aimed at minimizing oral plaque, so that we can keep your smile healthy. Since information is power, let’s learn more about how plaque functions (and how you can beat it!).
We’ll start by talking about the make-up of plaque. Basically, as you go throughout your day eating and drinking, bacteria build up on your teeth and gums. These bacteria stick to the different parts of your mouth because they are encased in a sticky film—this is plaque.
Plaque stays on the teeth and gums so that bacteria can feed and grow. As bacteria proliferate they cause cavities and gum disease. In just a matter of a day or two, plaque that has been left undistributed in the mouth calcifies into a substance called tartar, which further damages oral tissues.
So plaque really represents a window of time in which you can clear away newly developed oral bacteria (before it hardens into tartar). In order to effective cleanse your mouth:
· Brush at least twice a day, and for at least two minutes every time you brush
· Floss daily to clear plaque from hard to reach places in the mouth
· Maintain a dentist-recommended schedule of professional dental cleanings (during which we can get rid of calcified tartar)
· Add a mouth rinse into your routine if necessary (your dentist can help you decide)
· Drink enough water, and rinse with water throughout the day
Plaque is a dangerous dental foe, but there are things that you can do to keep it in check! Call our Toluca Lake dentist office to learn more about the preventative care that patients need to maintain oral health.