How to Prevent Tooth Plaque

Posted on: Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Dental plaque with inflammation and healthy tooth on a white background

You have probably seen plaque fighting toothpaste or mouthwash, but do you really know what plaque is and why it is important to avoid? Plaque is a buildup of acid that is the result of foods high in carbohydrates being left on the teeth. The bacteria found in the mouth thrive on foods such as milk, baked goods, or candy. As the bacteria feeds on the residue left behind on teeth from these foods, it creates an acid that builds up and become plaque, which is actually a thin film on the surface of teeth. Plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, so it is very important to control it.

Preventing Plaque

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; the cliché is very true when it comes to your oral health and hygiene. Your best bet is to prevent plaque from building up in the first place. You can prevent plaque with a few simple preventative measures. You should brush your teeth at least twice per day, focusing especially on the area where the tooth meets the gum. You should also floss your teeth once per day and use an antibacterial mouthwash. You should also see your dentist every six months for a cleaning and thorough examination.

Resolving Plaque

If you already have plaque buildup, there are some things that you can do to remedy it. Here are some of the most common and effective home remedies:

  • Oil pulling, which is pulling coconut or similar oil through the teeth for two minutes before rinsing the mouth.
  • Brush with a baking soda based toothpaste, either store bought or homemade.
  • Paint your teeth with the gel from the aloe vera plant and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing with water.
  • Rinse your mouth with white vinegar and salt.

If plaque remains unresolved with these measures, you should see your dentist for a thorough cleaning. If left untreated, plaque build up can become tartar, which is a hard deposit on the teeth. Tartar is much harder to remedy, and you will need to see your dentist for treatment.

If you have plaque buildup, or if it has been more than six months since your last trip to the dentist, contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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