Ever had that fuzzy feeling on the surface of your teeth? That’s plaque! It’s colorless to pale yellow. It develops when foods containing sugars and starches (or carbohydrates) are left on the teeth. Bacteria in our mouths help it develop into a sticky film that becomes more attached to the tooth over time. The bacteria feed off of the sugars and make acids that can destroy tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can cause the enamel to break down, eventually result in cavities.
Can plaque be removed?
Yes! It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and see your Pediatric Dentist every 6 months for a checkup. Good oral hygiene includes brushing twice a day, once in the morning AFTER breakfast and once at night along with flossing once per day. While you’re brushing, don’t forget to brush along the gumline where plaque is harder to remove. Plaque that is not removed with daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually cause decay or harden into calculus or tartar. When plaque becomes tarter, it requires the help of a dental professional to remove. Calculus and tarter can eventually lead to gum or bone disease called gingivitis and periodontitis. Long term effects can be gum recession and bone loss.
After a snack or meal drink water! Water helps make your teeth slippery and food particles are more likely to slide right off. Drinking water also helps to buffer acids and is always helpful when you can’t brush or floss after a treat, snack, or meal.
Want to know more?
Visit the “Ask Dr. Will & Dr. Mike” tab on our website for more helpful tips about caring for your children’s teeth. Or give us a call to schedule your child’s next dental visit. We’d love to see you at the office.