You’ve probably noticed how your beautiful white teeth start to look dull and yellow from time to time. What starts as a slight discoloration turns in to plaque. In fact, plaque is the reason behind the discoloration. Plaque is a sticky substance that attaches to the tooth formed by bacteria. It can appear directly on the teeth and even squeeze through into the gum line. If not removed, it can end up causing damage to both your gum and teeth.
Ways You Can Remove Plaque
The most common method to remove plaque is by ensuring to brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste helps keep the surface of the teeth clean. Be sure to replace your brush every 3 to 4 months or when you notice the bristle beginning to fray.
Along with brushing, flossing once a day is important to get rid of any particle of food that may be stuck between the teeth and in the gum line. Here are some tips to flossing:
- Take a floss long enough that you can easily maneuver it. Wrap the ends around the middle fingers of each of your hand.
- With the help of your thumb and forefingers, work the floss in between your teeth.
- When moving the floss in, try to work it in a “C” shape.
- Rub it up and down between the two teeth but do it gently so you don’t damage the gum or end up snapping the floss.
- Continue to repeat the process until you’ve cleaned between all of your teeth.
It is recommended you floss first followed by brushing your teeth. This way your mouth is thoroughly cleaned and any particle you’ve picked out with floss is brushed away and rinsed out.
The issue with plaque is even if you follow a good oral regimen, it can accumulate. There are some other ways you can help remove the buildup at home. These are:
With the help of either coconut or olive oil, you can combat plaque while also strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. To do this, you need to take about a tablespoon of oil and swish it in your mouth for about 20-30 minutes. Think of it like using a mouthwash, but of course for a lot longer. Coconut oil is considered to be more beneficial since it contains fatty acids which have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Toothpaste with baking soda or baking soda itself is said to have properties that help remove plaque more effectively. You can use baking soda like you would toothpaste as it has abrasive elements that help breakdown and remove plaque.
How Plaque Leads to Tartar Formation
Plaque is essentially formed by colonies of bacteria so there are health concerns associated with it. One of the most common concern is cavities and tooth damage. It can also lead to more serious problems such as periodontal disease which causes tooth loss.
As plaque builds up it comes into contact with the saliva in your mouth. The minerals present in the saliva lead to the plaque-forming a hard deposit which is known as tartar. Tartar is a more serious form of plaque which is much harder to remove. It also enables bacteria to multiply more easily and spread around the mouth.
Since tartar is much harder than plaque, you cannot remove it on your own. You need to get your teeth and gum professionally cleaned by a dentist. Make sure you pick a clinic that is reliable such as Laurich Dentistry. Dr. Matt Laurich from the clinic is an expert at both scaling and polishing having over decades of dentistry experience under his belt. He explains that scaling is the process in which the tartar is picked off from the teeth and polishing provides the finish to the teeth to make it shine afterward.
How to Prevent Plaque and Tartar
We asked our friend, Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown, Kentucky, about how to prevent plaque and tartar. Dr. Neda says that maintaining a good oral regimen is the best way to prevent plaque. Besides that, you also need to limit the acidic, sugary foods you eat as they fuel bacteria and aid in the formation of plaque. Visiting your local dentist in Michigan on a regular basis is also important to ensure you maintain good oral health.