Plaque is a film that builds on your teeth from the foods and beverages you consume. This substance is loaded with bacteria and can erode your teeth’s enamel over time, as well as cause other serious oral health problems. Cavities are the most well-known outcome caused by plaque. Sugars and acids in the foods you eat slowly break down tooth enamel, which will form a cavity over time.
If plaque is not regularly removed through brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which will make flossing and brushing more difficult and potentially painful. Over time, you may develop gingivitis – a condition that includes reddened, swollen gums and bleeding when you brush your teeth. Regular flossing and brushing helps reduce your chance of developing gingivitis. Failing to address it may result in a more serious condition known as periodontitis, a bacterial infection that affects the bone and gums that support your teeth.
How to Stop Plaque Buildup
There are several steps you can take at home to reduce plaque buildup and the risk of developing gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Daily oral care should consist of flossing and brushing your teeth, but you need to make sure that you’re doing these things correctly and thoroughly.
First, floss to remove food particles from between your teeth. You need to do this carefully without injuring your gums but deeply to ensure you’re not leaving bacteria and food particles behind. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste should follow flossing since you’re likely to have weakened plaque buildups with flossing – brushing will finish the job. Again, you want to make sure you’re not doing this too roughly and damaging your gums. Brush your teeth comfortably using circular motions across all of the surfaces of your teeth.
Brushing your tongue also helps rid your mouth of bacteria and freshens your breath. Many people like to finish their oral care routine with mouthwash to remove any lingering food particles or plaque deposits you weakened while flossing and brushing. You can also buy “disclosing tablets” at a pharmacy or grocery store that will highlight lingering plaque deposits so you can clearly see them.
Dangers of Plaque Deposits
Plaque buildup isn’t just unhealthy for your mouth – it can harm the entire body. Plaque buildup triggers your body’s immune system responses. Failure to remove plaque regularly means that your immune system is continuously activated, which may result in excessive inflammation.
Gingivitis is preventable, and regular cleanings will help remove plaque buildup that you can’t reach during your home hygiene routine. However, if it is left to advance to periodontitis, you run the risk of serious damage to your teeth and gums, even the possibility of losing teeth.
Oral health starts at home, but you can reach out to King Dental if you have any questions about hygiene or to schedule a cleaning. We offer a full range of dental services, so don’t wait until a small issue becomes a big problem. Get in touch with King Dental and schedule an appointment to keep your mouth healthy!