How to Combat Plaque

How to Combat Plaque

You are probably familiar with plaque as the fuzzy feeling that appears on your teeth after a carbohydrate-rich meal or sweet snack. It is actually a biofilm that consists of both bacteria and sugars, and is constantly forming on your teeth. Plaque is sticky and colorless, and the acids that it releases are to blame for cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.

Everyone has plaque, and it has to be removed regularly. If it is left on your teeth too long, it will harden into a mineralized substance called tartar or calculus. Tartar sticks to your teeth in spite of brushing and flossing, and only a dental professional using special tools can remove it. Plaque and tartar can irritate your gums, and the bacteria they contain can break down the enamel on your teeth.

You can prevent plaque buildup with good dental hygiene. Twice a day, brush your teeth using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Once a day, floss to remove the plaque that builds up near the gum line and between your teeth. If you are prone to tartar buildup, you might need to use a special tartar control toothpaste. An antimicrobial mouthwash can be a good addition to any dental hygiene routine.

Limit sugary drinks and avoid eating starchy or sugary foods and sticky snacks, including dried fruits. Be sure to schedule regular dental visits with our dentist in Van Nuys. We will clean your teeth and examine them for signs of abnormal buildup or other dental issues.

Call our office today to learn more about preventing plaque buildup or to schedule your next checkup.

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