What is Plaque?

Plaque is a thick buildup that occurs throughout the body and prohibits certain aspects from functioning properly. Plaque buildup that occurs in the arteries does not allow proper blood flow to and from the heart, leading to significant health issues. Plaque buildup that occurs inside the mouth leaves your entire oral health susceptible to infection, decay, disease, tooth loss, diabetes, and even heart disease. Dental plaque should never be ignored or overlooked; in fact, it is quite easy to control.

Dental plaque is a sticky, soft, white substance that builds up on the teeth throughout each day. If your teeth have ever felt fuzzy late in the day, then you have experienced plaque buildup. Plaque is caused by the millions of bacteria dwelling inside your mouth reacting to the foods and beverages that you consume. Bacteria are present inside the mouth to help break down particles that are left behind after you eat or drink anything other than water. However, their helpfulness quickly turns into harm because as the bacteria go to work they begin producing acids to assist them.

Acids are notorious for eating their way through anything that is in their path. Unfortunately, when acids are present inside the mouth, it is your tooth enamel and gum tissue that is in their destructive path. Plaque can accumulate in large amounts in just a single day. If you pay attention to how “fuzzy” your teeth feel from one day to the next, you can understand how much plaque can develop and how what you eat has a direct effect on how much plaque forms.

Dental floss is the only tool that has been specifically designed to remove plaque from the teeth, yet it is the most neglected tool in dental care. What your dentist wants you to understand is that dental floss is your most important instrument in keeping your teeth healthy. While brushing your teeth at least twice a day is important, flossing is even more important. A toothbrush is not designed to remove plaque from the gum line and the bristles cannot reach between the tight spaces of the teeth. Dental floss is designed to slide underneath plaque so that it can be scraped away from the teeth.

If plaque is not removed on a daily basis, it will harden into a calcified deposit known as tartar leaving the teeth constantly assaulted and vulnerable to quick decay. At Meadowbrook Family Dental, we want to promote optimal oral health through complete dental care. The more you floss at home, the less scraping will have to be done on your teeth at the dentists office. Call us today to schedule an appointment or for answers to any of your oral health concerns.

Posted on behalf of Meadowbrook Family Dental

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