Plaque is a natural biofilm that adheres to your teeth and gums. Because unhealthy bacteria accumulate and live – quite well – in plaque, it is important to do what you can to minimize its presence in your mouth. When the combination of saliva, bacteria, and debris from foods and beverages lingers, it can cause erosion in enamel. Plaque is also the primary cause of cavities and gum disease. Without adequate removal processes, the biofilm can harden to tartar. This can only be removed by your dentist. With a few healthy habits, you can give your pearly whites a fighting chance against plaque.
Brush your Teeth
Of course you know that you should brush your teeth twice a day, every day. Did you know, though, that anything less than two minutes per session is inefficient? Experts have identified this amount of time because it allows you to reach every surface of every tooth. With gentle motions, your brush should move across not only the chewing surface of each tooth, but also the inside and outside surfaces.
Floss in Between Teeth
Flossing. We all know we should do it, and yet only a small percentage of people do. The purpose of flossing is to remove plaque and debris from the tooth surfaces your toothbrush cannot reach. Floss also moves gently just beneath the gum line, where bacteria can hide and cause inflammation. If you don’t floss, you may notice that you tend to develop cavities in between your teeth.
Feed your Teeth
Just as your body functions at peak levels when you fuel it with healthy foods, your teeth will be healthier if you maintain healthy eating habits. Raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables act as manual cleansers that remove plaque from teeth. Calcium-rich foods build strong teeth. Sweets, on the other hand, invite bacteria to hang around far longer than they should. Bacteria love sugar! Well-fed, these microorganisms deposit acidic byproduct onto your teeth and gums, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease.
Trust your Teeth to your Dentist
Regular dental care involves twice-a-year visits during which we can check your teeth and gums, and clean them with advanced tools and technique. Early detection of dental problems allows us to act quickly and conservatively.
Don’t wait for plaque to catch up to you. Schedule your checkup and cleaning at O’Brien Dental Care in Shakopee.