Plaque – what is it and why does it matter?

April 2nd, 2018

We all have heard multiple times to make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss after meals. The reason why we are told this is to keep our teeth and gums healthy while removing plaque build up.

So, what exactly is plaque? Plaque is a colorless, sticky form of bacteria that is continually forming on our teeth and along the gum line. When it is not removed it calcifies and becomes a hardened plaque called tarter. Tarter attaches below the gum line and on the enamel of your teeth forming a brown or yellow color along the gum line and between teeth. If, plaque is left untreated it can cause gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth loss.

The mouth is the window to our body and periodontitis is linked to heart disease, blocked arteries and stroke. Every time we swallow, we move a little bit of plaque into our body, arteries and blood stream. This is why doctors and dentists are now linking oral health issues to body health. Now, we all develop plaque because we have bacteria growing in our mouth all the time, but how can we avoid it? We can avoid it by doing what our dentist tells us to do:

1. Brush your teeth at least twice daily.
2. Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line.
3. Limit sugar, starchy foods and sticky candy or snacks.
4. Schedule a regular dental cleaning every 6 months

Follow your dentist’s advice and brush your teeth at least twice daily and make sure to floss, daily. Doing this will not only keep your mouth healthy, but it will help keep the rest of your body healthy, as well.

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