You know that it’s important to brush and floss your teeth daily to prevent plaque buildup. What you may not know is that plaque is a form of bacteria that is constantly forming on the surface of your teeth (yikes!). Plaque is a combination of saliva, food and fluids forming between the teeth and gums. Plaque buildup contributes immensely to periodontal (gum) disease and gingivitis. I composed a few pointers on how to remove plaque for a healthy smile:
- Floss like a boss. You can prevent plaque buildup by flossing once to twice daily. Not only does flossing reduce plaque buildup, but it is proven to add up to 10 years to your life!
- Brush your teeth. This one is a given, but make sure to brush your teeth twice daily. Also, you should replace your toothbrush every three months, or as soon as the bristles look worn. This is significant as cleaning effectiveness diminishes with extensive use.
- Use a mouth rinse. Mouthwashes are excellent since they can provide up to 24-hour protection against plaque and gingivitis. Also, there are mouthwashes that are alcohol free, making rinsing far more enjoyable! Another benefit is having fresh breath.
- Eat well-balanced meals. The foods you eat have a strong influence on your dental health. By cutting back on carbohydrates and sugary foods, you reduce the risk of plaque buildup and tooth decay. Bacteria feeds on easily fermentable foods, such as those mentioned, which fuels plaque buildup. Snacks such as carrots and celery sticks can help to clean the teeth. Maintaining a healthy diet can fight plaque buildup and tooth decay.
- Get regular oral exams and cleanings. The dentist can help to remove plaque buildup that you would not be able to otherwise remove. With special cleaning instruments he dentist will remove any accumulated plaque and tartar, leaving you with a healthy smile! It’s recommended that you go for a regular cleaning every six months.
With these tips you will have a plaque free smile! Always remember to floss, brush, and rinse, eat healthy, and go for regular dental cleanings. A plaque free smile is a healthy smile. For more information, visit our pages on Proper Brushing & Flossing and Dental Exams & Cleaning!