What Exactly is Plaque? – The Facts

The Facts about Plaque

When you’re a child, you might be told that plaque is bad for your teeth. You’ll often hear about it on toothpaste advertisements where you are taught that a particular toothpaste brand will combat the build-up of plaque. However, many people don’t really know what plaque is, how it gets there and why plaque is so bad for your teeth. We’ve created your guide to understanding plaque and ensuring your teeth stay cleaner and healthier for longer.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a film that builds up on your teeth and contains large amounts of bacteria. Plaque comes from leftover food and saliva mixing in your mouth.

What Happens When Plaque Builds Up?

When plaque builds up, it can cause cavities in your teeth and it can also use the sugars in your food to produce acids. These acids eat away at your tooth enamel, causing cavities and also weakening your teeth. Enamel doesn’t grow back and while cavities can be filled, worn enamel is permanent.

Plaque also begins as a soft film but if it’s not removed from your mouth, it will harden over time and turn into tartar. Tartar is harder to remove with brushing and flossing and often builds at the gum line and causes gingivitis.

How Can You Prevent Plaque?

The good news is that plaque can be easily prevented, giving you longer lasting, fresh and healthy teeth. Try incorporating the following into your regular dental care routine:

  • Brush twice a day – Brushing twice a day effectively reduces plaque build-up. Brushing too much can wear away tooth enamel so remember to only keep it to twice a day.
  • Don’t skip flossing – Flossing is underrated as one of the key ways to stop plaque from building up between your teeth.
  • Rinse after meals – Rinsing after meals gives you a quick way to wash away food particles before they get lodged in your teeth, creating plaque.
  • Eat a healthy diet – Plaque is mostly caused by unhealthy foods or foods containing high amounts of sugar. Eating a healthy diet and avoiding sugary foods and drinks helps with plaque reduction.
  • Avoid smoking – Smoking not only stains your teeth but can cause a large amount of tooth decay and plaque build-up. 
Contact Titirangi Dental for Your Oral Health Needs

At Titirangi Dental, we can give you all the information and personal advice on tooth plaque and decay. We provide cleaning and fillings of the highest quality, ensuring your teeth stay healthy for longer.

Our attentive and educated team are here to make sure you are receiving the best care possible for your teeth. For all dental cavities, contact Titirangi Dental in West Auckland to make your appointment today. Call us on 09 817 6057.

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