We’ve all heard of plaque before, but what is it exactly? Don’t be embarrassed if you’re not familiar with the term. Most people don’t have a clue what plaque is because they can’t see it. And it’s hard to understand and worry about something that’s barely visible.
Unfortunately, ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to your gums. If you don’t remove plaque with proper brushing and flossing, it will eventually harden and lead to all sorts of issues, like gum disease. So today, we’re going to tell you exactly what it’s made of, how plaque forms on our teeth, and what you can do to prevent buildup. Let’s dive in.
What is Plaque Made Of?
Each one of us has bacteria living in our mouth. And while that may sound gross, it’s completely natural. It’s these tiny, invisible bacteria that create the plaque and tartar in your mouth when they eat the sugars and starches in your food. That’s right; they’re enjoying your meals as much as you are! And once they’re done eating, they excrete acids that wreak havoc on your teeth. These deposits turn into dental plaque which is a sticky, clear, microbial biofilm that develops when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are left on the teeth.
How Does Plaque Form on Our Teeth?
Plaque has a tendency to form all over the mouth wherever the bacteria live. If you don’t brush and floss the bacteria and acids away, plaque will develop on the teeth, between the teeth, and also below the gum line. Plaque also loves to accumulate in the deep crevices and is often found in and around the molars. Worst of all, if it’s not removed quickly enough, it can begin to absorb calcium and other substances found in food and saliva. This process results in the plaque hardening into tartar, which can become very difficult to remove with a toothbrush. If not controlled and treated, the tartar and plaque that forms on the teeth can lead to gum disease and other serious problems.
How Can You Prevent Plaque?
To prevent plaque from forming on your teeth, you need to start by focusing on your dental hygiene. Not only will this include routine brushing and flossing, but also sticking to a diet that won’t cause damage to your teeth. For those dessert lovers out there, you’re going to have to curb your intake of sugars and starches like cakes, candy, and ice cream. This will help to keep the bacteria at bay and reduce the number of acids that destroy your tooth enamel and cause decay.
To find out more about how plaque forms on our teeth and to learn how to effectively manage it, book an appointment today at our clinic. At Rockcliffe Dental, we believe that everyone can enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile. Let us help you achieve optimal oral health today!