Dental plaque is a sticky film that forms on the surface of the teeth. The plaque may give your teeth a yellow dull appearance, if it is allowed to build up. In addition to a change in the visual characteristics of your teeth, you may also notice a physical textural change as well. If you notice these signs, you may need to change your dental hygiene routine, as plaque can unexpectedly impact your oral health. Dental plaque can cause damage to both teeth and gums, emphasizing the importance for plaque mitigation between dental cleanings. Learn more about what you can do to get rid of plaque at home by scheduling an appointment with your dentist today.
What Causes Dental Plaque?
Plaque, a bacteria that can cover the teeth, feeds on the sugars left in your mouth after eating and/or drinking. The bacteria produce an acid that can erode your teeth’s enamel and cause damage to the soft tissue of your gums. Left unchecked it can also damage the bones that support your teeth.
Plaque expansion occurs quickly, which is why brushing and flossing are so critical. These simple steps in keeping your mouth healthy go a long way in combating the build-up.
It’s important to note that plaque build-up can be compounded based on your diet. If you frequently consume sugary foods or drinks, you introduce additional food sources which further feed the bacteria. A good clean focused diet can help reduce significate plaque issues. Speak with your dentist about adjustments you can make.
Remove Plaque by Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing is considered the best “at home” approach for removing plaque. It’s essential to do it the right way, which involves:
- Brushing for two full minutes
- Using short, gentle strokes
- Brushing the back teeth
- Brushing the gum line
- Brushing your tongue
- Replacing your toothbrush every three months
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. More if you regularly consume sugary foods or drinks. They are all known causes of plaque. Also, keep in mind that sugary foods don’t just include candy. Fruit and dairy can also contribute to plaque build-up.
Flossing Removes Plaque Build-Up
Flossing, is the second most important “at home” oral hygiene approach for combatting plaque build-up. When flossing, slide the piece of dental floss up between the teeth as far as it will go, without cutting into the gum. Curve the floss over the tooth into a c-shape, then begin moving the floss back and forth.
Don’t be afraid to ask one of the dental hygienists at Columbia Smiles to show you the right way to brush and floss.
Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings
Columbia Smiles recommends dental cleanings every six months. During your visit we’ll do a check-up to see if you have any cavities forming. If you do, we’ll take care of them before they become too serious. Regular cleanings can help prevent small oral health issues from developing into problems. If left unchecked, these problems may require more complex invasive procedures down the road.
Columbia Smiles is a community staple which has served families in Howard County for decades. Our team is committed to providing a comfortable experience for both children and adults.
Contact Columbia Smiles Today
Besides regular dental exams and cleanings to remove plaque, you can come to Columbia Smiles for a range of other dental services, such as:
- Cosmetic procedures like dental veneers
- Root canals and crowns
- Dental implants
- Dental trauma
- Teeth whitening
Columbia Smiles has won the Best Dental Practice award from Howard Magazine 19 times in the last 30 years Our staff’s focus is on you. You are our primary concern the minute you walk through the door.