WHAT IS DENTAL PLAQUE?
Dental plaque is a sticky biofilm that builds up over your teeth during the day. It develops if you eat a lot of foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars, as the bacteria use these foods for energy, and the layer of plaque will contain both bacteria and proteins and sugars. The bacteria in the plaque will produce acid, and because this happens within a protective biofilm it will be less easily washed away by saliva. This increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease as the acids will weaken the tooth enamel, and will irritate and inflame the gum tissues.
When dental plaque initially forms it is a soft layer that can easily be scraped away, but within just forty-eight hours it will begin to harden, and in a few days will be so hard that it can only be removed through being scraped away during a professional teeth cleaning. It will have developed into a substance called calculus or tartar, and its presence will increase your risk of dental diseases.
REGULAR DENTAL CARE AT HOME
Twice daily brushing is essential, as is once-a-day flossing. A lot of people will brush their teeth twice a day, but will often only floss if they can feel something stuck in between their teeth. The problem with this is that your toothbrush cannot reach right in between the teeth, and these surfaces account for approximately one third of your tooth surfaces. You need to take the dental floss to right down to the gum line, and to just below it, making sure you use fresh floss for each tooth. If this sounds tricky, or you struggle to floss, then ask Midtown Dentistry for help.
PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CARE
It can be easy to slip into a regular routine of tooth cleaning and to not notice you are missing out certain areas. Regular exams and professional cleanings enable us to pick up on these areas so we can work with you to improve your tooth cleaning routine. We can show the correct way to floss, or can talk to you about alternative tools to use such as interdental brushes and soft picks or air or water flossers.
Professional cleanings will allow us to scrape away all the hardened plaque or tartar, decreasing the likelihood that you will develop gum disease or tooth decay. It is a great preventative dental care treatment that needs to be carried out at least twice a year. Tartar can look slightly yellow so its removal can help improve the appearance of your teeth. In addition your teeth will be polished which can help to lift some surface stains. You should leave our dental office with a very clean mouth and a slightly brighter smile.