You brush your teeth at least twice a day, so it so frustrating to see plaque buildup on your teeth and along the gum line. Plaque doesn’t just look bad, it can also make your breath smell bad and cause cavities and gingivitis. This can also harden or turn into tartar if left alone.
Plaque and the Food You Eat
The thing with plaque is that it occurs almost every minute, every day. It is made from food debris of leftover particles that mix with your saliva. When you check your mouth, you may see a small amount of plaque buildup between the teeth and along the gum line. If there is an excess amount, it may be due to your eating habit, poor hygiene, or wrong brushing technique.
Reason for Excessive Plaque
Habitual eating of starchy and sugary foods (and not rinsing mouth or brushing teeth) is the common reason for excessive plaque accumulation. Note the bacteria in your mouth love sugars and simple carbohydrates, which are common in donuts, soda, chips, and other junk food. Powers Family Dental Care and other dentists in Cincinnati, Ohio note that simple carbs and sugar are also present in bread, fruits, and milk.
Preventing Plaque Accumulation
It is possible to prevent excessive plaque buildup by brushing properly at least twice a day and flossing at least once daily. You should also avoid mindless snacking or doing so between meals. If you can’t help to snack, make sure to drink water or rinse your mouth with it and brush after 30 minutes to one hour. It is also better to choose healthier snacks like low-fat cheese or baby carrots.
When the plaque is new and soft, gentle brushing and flossing are enough to remove it. Note that it takes about 24 to 72 hours for this slimy substance to harden into tartar, so proper oral hygiene on a regular schedule can keep excessive accumulation. You can also use a toothpick or interdental cleaners for getting food bits between your teeth.
Sometimes, you may miss plaque when brushing or flossing. This makes it important to visit a dentist or a dental hygienist for a professional cleaning. This is the only way to remove plaque and tartar without hurting your gums. Visiting the dentist is also advisable for regular checkups and cleanings.