Plaque is a gummy combination of food residue and bacteria that collects on teeth and eventually hardens into tartar. As any dentist will confirm, plaque buildup is a principal cause of gum disease and other oral health problems. It’s important to rid your teeth of the substance before it calcifies and becomes more difficult to remove, so here’s a closer look at how to be proactive.
How to Prevent Plaque Buildup on Your Teeth
1 Brush After Meals
Brush your teeth 30 minutes to an hour after eating. Waiting ensures your brush isn’t damaging tooth enamel while it’s sensitive while preventing plaque from gathering. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove food particles and bacteria and further protect the enamel.
Be sure to brush in small, tight circles, and concentrate on the base of your teeth and beneath the gums. For even better results, choose a plaque-fighting toothpaste.
2. Floss Daily
Flossing does more than remove food stuck between your teeth. It also scrapes off accumulated gunk and prevents tartar accumulation.
Floss every night before bed so plaque doesn't have time to harden overnight. Scrape just beneath the gumline and reach as far around each tooth with the floss as you can. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease.
3. Have a Dentist Clean Your Teeth
Schedule twice-yearly visits to your dentist for teeth cleaning. They'll use a sharp metal pick called a dental scaler to remove any calcified plaque that flossing and brushing can’t reach. They’ll also check for tooth decay, look for signs of gum disease, screen for oral cancer, and address any oral health issues and questions you have.
For a gentle, compassionate dentist to help your family keep their smiles bright, contact Dr. Robert Petrtyl, DDS, in Cincinnati, OH. He and his team have served Mason, Finneytown, Mount Healthy, and the surrounding tri-state region for more than 30 years. They specialize in teeth cleaning, tooth extractions, fillings, root canals, bridges and crowns, and gum disease treatment. Learn more about the practice at their website or call (513) 554-4657 to make an appointment with this trusted dentist today.