Wondering how to prevent plaque build-up? We have some information for you.
Dental plaque is a thin, sticky substance comprised of bacteria and food particles that feeds off sugar. It produces an acid that attacks the teeth. If this acid continues to attack the teeth for a prolonged period, it can eventually cause dental decay or a number of other oral health issues. That is why it’s important to do everything you can to prevent a build-up of plaque on your teeth.
There are plenty of ways you can do this simply by adding a few extra steps into your daily routine.
Brushing your teeth twice daily is one of the easiest ways to prevent plaque build-up and further decay. It is recommended by the Australian Dental Association that you brush your teeth for two minutes at a time each time you brush your teeth.
Failing to do this can result in a build-up of plaque and tartar. Tartar is a hardened form of plaque that forms on your teeth if plaque is left unremoved. It’s more difficult to remove than plaque, which is why we recommend avoiding plaque build-up before tartar forms.
Flossing is an important step in your daily oral care routine, yet one that many people still forget. Ensure that you are flossing between your teeth at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria. Brushing only removes 65% of bacteria on your teeth, but flossing works to remove the remaining 35%.
For extra caution, use an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce bacteria. Mouth rinses are a great way to reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease. If you’re not sure which one will be best for you, Dr Anna or one of our experienced team members can happily recommend you one at your next visit.
Regular Dental Check-ups
Ensure you’re attending regular dental check-ups. Even if you’re brushing and flossing every day, you may miss some dental plaque. Over time, this hard to reach plaque can turn into tartar. By visiting Dr Anna and the dhealth team every six months to remove bacteria and tartar from your teeth you can avoid this happening. This may involve a general cleaning.
If you’re interested, you can also ask whether or not a dental sealant is appropriate for you. A dental sealant is a thin coating of plastic painted on the surfaces of the teeth that works to protect them from cavities and decay.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
The foods you eat affect the health of your whole body, including your dental health. Eating a balanced diet is important in regulating the build-up of acids that can lead to plaque. If you need a snack between meals try and limit it to nutritious foods like plain yogurt, fruit or raw vegetables. Vegetables like celery can even help remove food and help saliva neutralise plaque-causing acids.
The bacteria that make up dental plaque feed off sugar, so eating and drinking sugary things can help the bacteria thrive, increasing the risk of plaque build-up. This doesn’t mean completely cutting sugar out of your diet, it just means that you should avoid consuming certain foods that are higher in sugar content. This includes foods like milk, honey, cake and ice-cream.
It’s important to stay hydrated so your mouth continues to produce saliva as a method of washing plaque on your teeth away. A dry mouth can occur for several reasons including medication, general dehydration, medical diseases, infection and smoking. If you find yourself continuously concerned with this, we can happily provide you with some tips on preventing a dry mouth when you next visit our clinic.
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Gums are a part of the mouth often neglected when people brush their teeth. Over time, if the gums are continually ignored, plaque can harden into calculus or tartar which can lead the gums to become irritated and possibly contract gingivitis. To avoid this ensure you are regularly brushing your teeth at a 45 degree angle near your gums. By doing this, bacteria and plaque won’t sit around your gum line for too long.
Plaque Disclosing Tablets
If you’re worried that you’re not doing enough to eradicate plaque in your teeth you can buy plaque disclosing tablets from your local drug store. These tablets stain your teeth to show you where plaque is residing so you know whether or not you need to do a better job of brushing your teeth. This stain can then easily be brushed away.
By following these tips, you will be better equipped to prevent a build up of plaque on your teeth. And, if you’re still worried, you can always come and visit Dr Anna and the dhealth team to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.