Every time you brush, you’re getting rid of a film that covers your teeth. You can usually feel it first thing in the morning or if it’s been a while since you brushed. That film is called plaque, and it’s your mouth’s number one enemy. That’s because when it builds up on your teeth, it can not only lead to yellow teeth and bad breath, it can also contribute to heart disease. Read on to learn more about why it’s so important to rid your mouth of plaque.
How does plaque form?
When you eat, the food you consume breaks down and the bacteria in your mouth feast on the simple sugars. Afterwards, bacteria excrete acid that contributes to bad breath, enamel erosion, tooth decay and cavities. If plaque sits on your teeth for more than 48 hours it starts to harden and calcify. This turns into tartar, which is impossible to get rid of by brushing and flossing.
What does plaque do to my body?
If you forego brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, you’re opening the door for plaque buildup. This affects your immune system and leads to unnecessary inflammation in your body, which is an underlying problem in diseases like heart diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.
How can I get rid of plaque?
As the saying goes: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Early intervention is key, so you need to catch plaque early on before it gets thick and becomes tartar. Brushing get rid of the majority of plaque before it can form, but flossing is just as important for targeting the areas a toothbrush can miss.
What can I do to prevent plaque from forming?
Brush twice a day, and if possible, do so after each meal. Also, be sure to visit your dentist for regular teeth cleanings twice a year. The dental hygienist can remove any tartar that may have built up on your teeth before it becomes a bigger problem. Finally, be sure to eat a diet chock full of vegetables and low on starchy carbs like crackers and simple sugars.
If you are interested in learning more about how to fight plaque, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you. To schedule an appointment, please contact Scott T. LeSueur, DDS & Charles A Dodaro, DDS online or by calling our Mesa office at (480) 834-6991 today. We serve Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and all surrounding Arizona communities.