What is Dental Plaque, and how do You Take Care of it?

A lot of dental diseases tend to start with dental plaque. So what is this substance, and better yet, how do you take care of it for a healthier mouth? Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless film that forms on the surface of your teeth, as well as between them. It is a biofilm that contains many microorganisms and bacteria. If left untreated, this film hardens and becomes tartar.

This film is most dangerous after eating, as this is when the bacteria in the plaque release acids that attack the enamel of your teeth. The most prevalent areas to suffer from this acid treatment are those areas just above, and below the gum line. This is also what causes you to get cavities, or worse, tooth decay. If this builds up below your gum line, you can develop gingivitis and gum disease. If left untreated for long periods of time, it can damage your teeth, the bone supporting your teeth, as well as your overall health.

While this is a potent substance, treating it is fairly simple. Brushing your teeth twice a day, along with regular flossing, will break up plaque that naturally accumulates on your teeth. If you brush your teeth and your gums begin to bleed, this is an indication of a more serious issue and you need to seek the services of your dentist immediately. Between brushings, eating a balanced diet that is low in sugars and starches, as well as limiting your snacking will go a long way to controlling this substance. Remember, the bacteria in plaque do not release acid until food is introduced into the equation.

Dental plaque may sound mean, but it is easily controlled through a healthy diet and good oral hygiene. It only takes a few moments a day to keep a healthy smile!

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