Chances are you’ve heard your dentist or your dental hygienist mention something called “plaque” at least once. Even still, you might not be quite sure what it is and why we even bother talking about it. Educating patients is part of our mission at Smiles Dental. We want to help you keep those pearly whites smiling! Here’s the lowdown on plaque build-up and what it can lead to if not taken care of.
Let’s start with the basics: Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that contains bacteria and builds up on the surface of your teeth. Have you ever felt like your teeth have a weird fuzzy coating on them when you wake up? Yes, that’s plaque!
What Causes Plaque?
Plaque comes about when saliva and food mix together, which means it’s constantly forming. Unfortunately, it’s not like you can get rid of plaque once and then you’re good for the rest of your life. Or even for the rest of the day! That’s why it’s so important to brush and floss your teeth regularly! It requires constant maintenance to keep plaque at bay.
What Does Plaque Do?
The bacteria in plaque ends up creating acid, which can be damaging to your dental health. To put it differently, untreated plaque can lead to cavities and gum disease. It can also harden to something like tartar. While it’s possible to remove plaque on your own with good oral hygiene, tartar requires the work of a dental professional. Tartar is also a contributor to gum disease.
Fight Plaque with Regular Visits to Smiles Dental
Aside from following a healthy dental routine at home, another way you can avoid any issues with plaque or tartar build-up is to pay regular visits to the dentist. These semiannual teeth cleanings and check-ups help ensure plaque doesn’t get in the way of you having a healthy, beautiful smile. To book your routine dental visit with Smiles Dental, just call or email us today. We have a number of convenient locations across Oregon and Washington, and we’d love to show you the Smiles Dental difference.