“Dental plaque” or just “plaque” refers to the sticky film that forms on the teeth because of bacteria when mixed with sugary or starchy foods in the mouth. While we should be brushing twice a day, if you happened to ever have forgotten one night and woke up in the morning with your teeth feeling like they are fuzzy or have a “film” on them, this is the result of plaque sticking to the tooth surface. In fact, plaque can be visible on the teeth typically at the gum line where your pink gums meet your teeth. You may see a white or creamy substance in this area and this is plaque.
Now, do not think if your teeth ever have felt this way, you are the only one! Plaque is extremely common and everyone has plaque to a certain degree. However, if not effectively removed by the mechanical act of toothbrushing, this plaque will harden into tartar (calculus), which can cause gum disease and tooth decay over time. Plaque can even be wedged between the teeth into spaces where a toothbrush cannot reach, which is why flossing at least once a day is very important to remove this plaque!
If you are taking medications like antidepressants or have a medical condition that causes dry mouth, plaque may accumulate more on your teeth. Others who have history or head/neck radiation or smoke may have more plaque formation.
Ways to prevent plaque are as simple as following a good oral hygiene routine with 2-minutes or tooth brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, or even considering adding a water-flosser into the mix. A waterflosser can reach 6 mm depths below the gum tissue that help irrigate any plaque underneath the gums that the visible eye cannot see. Additionally, choose healthy well-balanced food items that are not sugary or starchy like raw vegetables, nuts, cheese, or yogurt. Most importantly, make sure you are seeing your dentist and dental hygienist regularly to stay up to date on dental check ups! This can be one of the most important things you can do to assess tooth decay and that the hardened plaque is being effectively removed from the teeth.
Please Contact River Run Dental Spa:
At River Run Dental Spa, we believe that routine dental visits and regular teeth cleanings are encouraged to fight against tooth decay and gum disease! At our locations we offer routine preventive dental care and can help you learn how to effectively remove plaque that may be sticking on your teeth. Please call us or visit our website to schedule your dental visit!