Plaque: Bacteria Run Amok
Everyone has a host of bacteria in their mouths. No matter how persnickety you might be about your dental hygiene, these tiny bugs thrive in moist, damp, and sweet environments just like your mouth. In most cases, your body's immune system deals with oral bacteria, and the saliva in your mouth works to wash it away. Some major dental problems can occur, however, when these microscopic beasts overstay their welcome. Read on to learn more about plaque and how to deal with it.
When bacteria are allowed to stay too long, they can form an acid that clings to your teeth and gums that is referred to as plaque. This acid is the bad guy that cause cavities and gum diseases, and the longer it sits on those places, the greater the damage. While you might already have bacteria in your mouth, the vast majority of problems are created by eating and drinking.
Deal With It
Fortunately, plaque can be vanquished by taking the following steps:
Brush – Your first line of defense when it comes to dealing with plaque is basic and simple: brushing. Your toothbrush plus a high-quality toothpaste equals cleaner teeth. To avoid causing excess wear to your teeth, use a soft-bristled brush and use it at least two times a day. Concentrate on the areas where plaque thrives and do the most damage – near your gum line.
Floss – Your toothbrush cannot reach the in-between areas of your teeth, so that is where flossing comes in. An enormous variety of floss holders and helpers are available to make this job easier. Flossing before bedtime is a good idea since the bacteria won't have an opportunity to do their damage while you sleep.
Diet – Some foods just seem to make it easier for bacteria to grow and thrive. Sweets and carbs more readily produce bacteria so avoid those and give a priority to dairy, fruits, and veggies. In fact, fiber-happy foods like fruits and vegetables not only help wash bacteria from your mouth but also increase your production of saliva, which also washes away the bacteria.
Your dentist – Unfortunately, plaque that is not removed turns into tartar, which cannot be removed by a toothbrush or by flossing. Only a professional cleaning can do that. See your dentist for regular cleanings so that you can avoid the serious consequences of plaque and tartar buildup.
To learn more about keeping the bacteria problem as minimal as possible, contact a dental office like ComfortCare Dental.