Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that coats teeth, reacts with the food in our mouth and releases acids that eat away at teeth enamel, causing tooth decay. It consumes sugars in the foods we eat, and releases acids as a waste product. These acids slowly eat away at the enamel of teeth, and may cause tooth decay. Over time, the plaque layer on teeth can harden to become tartar or calculus. This hard layer continues to release acids, and is even harder to remove than regular plaque. Plaque is a leading cause of gingivitis, an early stage gum disease.
Causes of Plaque
Plaque is naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths, and it can never be permanently eradicated. It becomes a problem when it is not regularly removed from our teeth by brushing and flossing.
Tartar or Calculus
Tartar and calculus are both names for hardened plaque. This can be removed during a regular dental hygiene visit.
Prevention of Plaque
There is no way to stop the formation of plaque completely, but you can fight against it. Here’s how:
- Floss every day and at night before bed time
- Brush at least twice a day, especially after ingesting sweets and sugary foods
- Use special after-brushing anti-bacterial rinses designed to fight plaque
- Schedule regular dental visits
Plaque Treatment at Smile 32 Dental Centers
On you regular visits, Smile 32 Dental Centers will instruct you on how to properly brush and floss. Your teeth will receive a very thorough cleaning, using instruments to remove tartar buildup. Special sealants may be used on your molars, a common starting point of tooth decay.