Plaque… and How to Stop It

What is plaque? Plaque is a sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that is constantly forming on the tooth surface. Saliva, food, and fluids combine to produce these deposits that collect where the teeth and gums meet. Plaque buildup is the primary factor in gum disease, including gingivitis.

Plaque on your teeth usually is pale yellow in color, and develops when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as milk, soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy is left on the teeth. This causes the bacteria that lives in the mouth to thrive on these foods, producing acids that destroy tooth enamel over time.

With this in mind, how can you prevent plaque from forming on your teeth? First, brush your teeth at least twice a day, with either a soft, round-tip bristled toothbrush, paying particular attention to the space where the gums and teeth meet. It is recommended that you use a toothpaste which contains fluoride.

You should also floss at least once a day to remove the food particles and bacteria that come into your mouth during that day. Remember to make sure to see your dentist every six months for a dental checkup and teeth cleaning.

Lastly, you can limit the amount of plaque on your teeth by eating a balanced diet, with nutritious foods like yogurt, cheese fruit or raw vegetables. Vegetables like celery help remove food and assist saliva in neutralizing plaque-causing acids.

For more information on plaque, and to schedule an appointment with your Houston dentist, contact Greenspoint Dental today.