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Plaque Awareness: The Key to Preventing Dental Problems

Dental plaque, a sticky biofilm, presents a widespread challenge to oral health, leading to concerns like tooth decay and gum disease. It affects everyone equally, irrespective of age and gender. Hence, it’s crucial to eliminate plaque by adhering to strict oral hygiene care including regular brushing and flossing routines. Neglecting plaque removal can favor bacterial growth and various complications, negatively impacting overall health.

Oral hygienists at the dental clinic Brookhaven, GA help in the early detection of plaque and provide regular dental exams and cleanings to address it comprehensively. Dive in to uncover more about plaque.

What is dental plaque?

Dental plaque is a sticky biofilm of bacteria that consistently adheres to the tooth surface. Everyone produces plaque, and it is normal. However, it is important to eliminate it from your mouth regularly, because it contains bacteria, leftover food particles, and saliva. 

What causes dental plaque?

Plaque formation is inevitable. Bacteria that live in your mouth use the food you eat to grow and thrive. The sugary and starchy foods are especially used up by the bacteria to form harmful acids, toxins, and by-products to form a sticky coating on the tooth surfaces, known as dental plaque. This also leads to the development of holes or cavities in the teeth which are the first signs of tooth decay. Plaque can also develop under the gum, causing the bone supporting the tooth to break down. 

How to eliminate plaque?

Dentists may also recommend the following preventive measures during teeth cleaning sessions:

  • Scaling and root planing: This involves the removal of bacteria, plaque, and calculus using special instruments like manual scalers and ultrasonic tips. 
  • Dental sealants: Liquid varnish to prevent plaque from forming on the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of the teeth
  • Dry mouth treatments: Medications to increase saliva production
  • Fluoride treatment: Water fluoridation and varnish application to slow the growth of plaque-causing bacteria and reduce the risk of tooth decay
  • Prescription toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash: To reduce infection and inflammation of the gums caused by plaque.

How to prevent plaque accumulation?

Here is how you can prevent the accumulation of plaque and the onset of oral diseases:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Floss once a day to get rid of plaque in between teeth
  • Scrub and clean your tongue as well
  • Rinse your mouth daily with antiseptic mouthwash
  • Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet
  • Cut back on sugary, starchy junk foods and drinks
  • Get dental checkups and cleanings twice a year

Maintaining plaque-free teeth is essential to reduce the risk of oral problems like cavities, gum disease, and other harmful conditions. Consult your dentist to schedule an appointment at the earliest for better oral health. 

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