Toluca Lake Dentists Empower You To Take Control Of How Plaque Affects Your Smile

Written by Dr. McKay on Jul 31, 2018

Brushing and flossing your smile as recommended by your dentist is critical to maintaining a healthy smile well into the future. The daily dental maintenance that you complete at home is designed to minimize that ever-present threat to oral health: plaque.

Plaque is constantly developing and accumulating on your smile. This sticky film is full of bacteria, and as it sits on your teeth and gums, it weakens them and leaves them vulnerable to infection.

Our Toluca Lake dentists are here to give you the information you need to manage your smile, and that includes managing plaque.

One particularly important thing to note about plaque is that, when it is left undisturbed on the patient’s smile, it actually calcifies and hardens into tartar. Once plaque has become tartar, it is very difficult to remove; in fact, you’ll need to undergo a professional cleaning in order to get rid of the calculus. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends that patients brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day; your goal is to clear away newly developed plaque before it calcifies to the tooth.

Plaque is largely invisible, so you really can’t take a look at your smile to determine how much cleaning is necessary. There are, however, a few red flags that can indicate plaque build-up. If you’re struggling with hard-to-treat bad breath, this may be due to an overabundance of bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria that reside in plaque and tartar release unpleasant odors as they develop. You may also be able to feel that your teeth feel gritty or rough when you run your tongue over your smile. Clean and healthy teeth feel smooth and slick.

Along with caring for your smile as recommended by your dentist, you can limit sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet, as bacteria feed on these substances. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to clear away dental debris, and to stimulate saliva production. Chronic dry-mouth creates an ideal environment in which oral bacteria can flourish.

Our Toluca Lake dentists are happy to answer any additional questions that you may have about caring for your smile at home, or about plaque in particular. Just give our office a call to schedule a personal consultation with our team!