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Plaque | How You Can Prevent and Remove This Nasty Buildup

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How Does Plaque Form and How Can You Prevent and Remove It?

Dental experts always recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once daily. Following these two good dental hygiene practices ensures that you keep your teeth and gums healthy and that your breath always smells fresh. Habitual brushing and flossing also help prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth.

Dental plaque is a sticky film that comes from leftover food particles and saliva that mix in your mouth. Plaque forms and builds up on your teeth if you don’t brush properly after eating. Plaque contains bacteria that release acids which attack the enamel of your tooth. This buildup can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

Tartar, the substance that makes your teeth appear yellowish and smell bad, is also caused by dental plaque. Tartar is actually plaque that remains on your teeth for several days and hardens. Unfortunately, tartar can’t be easily removed by brushing alone. It has to be scraped off by a dentist during an in-office cleaning procedure.

But how does plaque form on your teeth, exactly?

Plaque formation begins when you chew your food and it breaks down into carbohydrates. These carbohydrates mix with the natural bacteria found in your mouth and create a specific type of acid. This acid then combines with your saliva and other food particles left on your teeth to form a sticky substance which is plaque.  

Dental Plaque Prevention and Removal

Below are some ways that can help you prevent and remove dental plaque buildup:

Brush and floss daily.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove any buildup that is still in the early stage of development. Brushing properly and regularly also effectively removes loose food particles that contribute to plaque buildup. Flossing also helps remove food particles and debris from between your teeth that brushing can’t eliminate.

Use a toothpaste with ingredients that can remove plaque and tartar.

Some toothpaste brands contain pyrophosphates, a type of chemical that has been proven effective in reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Various studies also show that using a toothpaste containing baking soda helps remove plaque from your teeth.

Modify your diet.

Control your cravings and avoid consuming large amounts of candies, cookies, chocolates, and other sweets. If you do eat some, brush your teeth at least an hour after eating and/or immediately gargle with water.

See your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning procedure

If this buildup has already transformed into tartar, brushing and flossing won’t be able to get rid of these substances. You need to undergo an in-office teeth cleaning procedure.


The Best Prevention

When it comes to your teeth, you can’t afford to be lax. Even if you’re swamped with work and chores, or feeling too tired or sleepy, always take the time to brush and floss your teeth properly. Don’t forget to schedule a routine cleaning with your local dentist. 

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