What is Dental Plaque & How to Address it

12 Mar
teeth with dental plaque on them

Dental health is something that many of us know the importance of, but oftentimes overlook. The problem with many of us is that it is remarkably easy for us to neglect our dental health to the point of extensive damage to our teeth.

However, when you start to pay close attention to your dental hygiene, you will find that it is quite easy to take care of your teeth and avoid severe dental damage. All you need to do is learn the basics of dental care and develop a routine to care for your teeth daily.

Over time, you will find it easier to get into the habit of things, and it will go a long way in keeping your teeth in great condition for a long time. One of the most basic things that you need to learn about dental hygiene is how dental plaque can affect your teeth, especially if you don’t attend to this issue right away.

Here is everything that you need to know about dental plaque, namely, what it is, what this means for your dental health, and what you can do about it.

What is dental plaque?

Many people are not aware of what dental plaque is until it is pointed out to them by their dental health professional. For those who are unaware, dental plaque is a thin film that forms on your teeth, which is a result of the formation of bacteria.

This often occurs when the bacteria in your mouth mixes with sugar and starches from the food that you eat. When you learn what dental plaque is, you will find that it is much easier to identify, which will also help you be more mindful about how to deal with it for the sake of your dental health.

Keep in mind that everyone has dental plaque in some way or form; what varies is the severity of the plaque in people’s mouths. Ideally, you want to minimize the amount of plaque that you have for optimal dental health and hygiene.

What’s the big deal with dental plaque?

While it does not sound pleasant, it can be easy to see why dental plaque is something that a lot of people aren’t concerned about when it comes to their dental health, since at first glance, it doesn’t seem to pose any serious issues.

However, many dental health professionals will tell you that you have to minimize the development of dental plaque as much as possible if you want to keep your teeth in great condition.

One of the biggest dangers of dental plaque is the fact that if it begins to build up in your mouth, it will easily lead to numerous dental issues like cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Since dental plaque can wear down your teeth’s enamel, this can allow bacteria into the tooth, which leads to cavities. If you don’t clean dental plaque out of your teeth, then it will harden and become tartar, which will have to be removed professionally.

The excessive buildup of tartar can also contribute to gum disease, which can be very unpleasant to deal with.

Plaque that builds up underneath the gum line can cause the gums to become inflamed and irritated, which leads to gingivitis, another name for a gum infection. If left untreated, the gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which is a more severe form of gum infection which results in severe bone and tooth loss.

Aside from all of the concerning potential health issues that you can face with dental plaque, it also has a role in bad breath, which can make it very difficult for you to interact with others.

As you can see, there are plenty of health and dental issues involved when you neglect your dental health, so it’s best to take preventative measures to avoid the buildup of dental plaque in your mouth.

How do you address dental plaque?

Now that you know all of the issues involved with dental plaque, how exactly are you supposed to deal with these?

Many people tend to neglect their dental hygiene and only attend to it as soon as possible when a certain issue, like the development of cavities arises, but this is the wrong approach to take with your dental health.

As much as possible, you should be implementing regular forms of dental health care and maintenance so that the state of your teeth never gets to the point where cavities and other serious dental health issues come up.

Doing so helps you avoid serious dental health issues that can be both uncomfortable and costly. Dental plaque is one of the highest contributors to dental health problems, so learning more about what it is and what preventive measures you can take will help you keep the worst of it at bay.

There are several recommended strategies for minimizing the development of dental plaque in your mouth. The first and most basic thing that you can do is to brush your teeth regularly. It’s important to note that many people are not aware that they are brushing incorrectly.

You can ask your local dental hygienist to show you the best way to brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth once or twice a day helps keep bacteria away from your mouth, which minimizes the risk for the development of dental plaque.

Flossing also helps remove plaque and other food particles from your teeth, and this is something that you should be doing daily as well. Keep in mind that mouthwashes are not very good at dealing with plaque because plaque sticks to your teeth and cannot be simply washed away.

The foods and drinks that you intake also play a very important role in your dental health. However, while washes don’t remove plaque from your mouth, these are very effective at keeping bacteria away from your mouth, so it is still a good idea to incorporate this into your dental hygiene routine.

Make sure to minimize or avoid sugary and processed foods.

These types of food introduce more bacteria into your teeth and can damage your teeth’s enamel, so eating a balanced diet made up of whole foods can also help you avoid dental plaque.

If you find that you are dealing with a buildup of dental plaque that has turned into tartar, then this needs to be addressed by a dental health professional through a professional cleaning.

By maintaining a good balance of daily dental hygiene and going to a dental professional regularly, you will find that your teeth will be kept in great condition and help you avoid serious dental issues.

The team of professional hygienists at Smile Blanc can help you manage your dental health concerns and bring your smile back, so book an appointment with us today!

We offer Guided Biofilm Therapy dental hygiene service, which is a step above your usual dental cleaning. This service removes biofilm bacteria from your teeth, root surface, cheeks, tongue, and roof of your mouth. This extensive form of cleaning helps guarantee that dental plaque is kept away from your teeth and mouth.