A big part of maintaining good oral health is reducing the amount of harmful bacteria that grows on your teeth and under your gums. Many dental products are designed to fight plaque. But what exactly is it and what’s the best way to get rid of it?
What Is Plaque?
Plaque is a biofilm of bacteria that builds up on your teeth. Whenever we consume food that contains carbohydrates, bacteria in your mouth feed on those sugars and produce harmful acids. In turn, that acid damages the hard outer layer of your teeth, called the enamel. Plaque will also irritate your gums and cause gum disease. When your tooth enamel is weakened, you are more susceptible to decay and cavities and subsequent tooth loss. Gum inflammation and irritation can progress into infection, causing bad breath, pain, jawbone deterioration, and tooth loss.
If you don’t effectively remove plaque from your teeth, the plaque will harden into tartar. This causes tooth discoloration and further irritates gums.
How to Get Rid of Plaque
The most effective way to eliminate plaque is to thoroughly floss your teeth every day and brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes each time. Be sure to brush your tongue too! Don’t brush your teeth with simple back and forth movements or aggressive sawing. Instead, gently brush all the surfaces of your teeth using small circles, brushing for 30 seconds in each quarter of the mouth (top right, top left, bottom left, and bottom right).
Many patients find that an electric toothbrush simplifies their brushing experience and makes it more enjoyable! Consult with our team for recommendations to improve your oral hygiene!
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, there are a few ways you can prevent plaque buildup. First, limit your consumption of sugary beverages and foods composed of simple sugars and starches, as they especially promote bacteria production. Second, visit Southwest Smiles at least twice a year for preventive cleanings and examinations. Third, avoid all tobacco products.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Austin, TX
Southwest Smiles proudly offers a variety of dental services to prevent and treat dental disease, including oral cancer screenings and periodontal therapy. We provide top-notch, affordable dental care so each of our patients can maintain optimal oral health.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment so you can enjoy a healthier smile!