Removing Plaque and Tartar from the Teeth
Plaque is the leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease, which is why it is so important to remove it. Practicing good oral hygiene is far and away your best bet when it comes to removing plaque.
Plaque is a biofilm of bacteria and sugars that is constantly forming in our mouths. The bacteria in plaque feed off of the sugars and starches that we eat, in the process creating a harmful acid byproduct. It is this acid byproduct that actively causes tooth decay. Since forming plaque is a natural process and not entirely preventable, the best way to handle it is by removing it. At home, removing it involves regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. You should brush your teeth two times a day, or after each meal. Be sure to use a soft bristled brush and to hold the brush at a forty-five degree angle. Use short, circular motions to clean the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Using toothpaste that contains fluoride produces the best results, as it helps to strengthen and protect your enamel. Avoid brushing too hard. Your toothbrush may have trouble reaching the spots in between your teeth, which is why it is also recommended that you floss once a day.
If you allow plaque to accumulate, it will harden into tartar. Only a dental professional is able to remove tartar from your mouth. When tartar accumulates at and below the gumline, it leads to gum disease. That is why it is important to supplement your home care regiment with a biannual visit to our dental cleaning dentist for a professional exam and cleaning. Not only will the dentist be able to remove the plaque you have missed during your regular brushing and flossing, but they will be able to eliminate the tartar that has built up over time.
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