It is as essential as you have been lead to believe! Plaque is a form of bacteria, and it builds upon all tooth surfaces, heaviest at the gum line, and has to be manually removed. Make sure to access the bristles of your toothbrush at the gum line on the front and back surfaces of your teeth, as well as on the biting surfaces of your teeth. Electric toothbrushes generally do a superior job over manual toothbrushes, but if you use a manual toothbrush, make sure to use the correct brushing technique. For a manual toothbrush, position the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gum tissue, vibrate the toothbrush at the gum line, and sweep the toothbrush away from the gums. Make sure to access all your teeth while brushing.
Flossing takes care of all the tooth surfaces that are not accessible with a toothbrush. Did you know that you aren’t even cleaning almost 50% of your tooth surfaces if you don’t floss? Flossing plays a significant role in the health of your teeth and gums. You can choose between manual floss, floss sticks or even a water flosser, just so long as you are using something to clean out those in-between surfaces.
Mouthwash helps keep your gums and teeth healthy for several reasons. Antimicrobial mouthwashes help reduce the number of oral bacteria and maintain gum health, but make sure it’s an ADA or CDA approved mouthwash. Mouthwash containing fluoride is also beneficial for cavity-prone adults and children to prevent the risk of cavities. Use your mouthwash at least once a day.
Did you know that raw carrots, celery, and apples can help clean your tooth surfaces to reduce plaque on your teeth? Try it, eat a few apple slices and see how smooth your teeth feel with your tongue after. This smooth feeling is due to reduced plaque on your tooth surfaces. Crunchy fruits and vegetables have a natural cleansing action for the teeth.
After eating sugar (refined carbohydrates are packed full of sugar), bacteria in your mouth use it to feed off. Therefore, the greater the sugar intake, the greater the plaque accumulation. The main culprits are sticky candies, white bread and potato chips.
Your dentist/ dental hygienist can access areas in your mouth that are difficult for you to clean. In addition, once plaque has been left on your teeth for some time, it calcifies and turns into tartar, which requires special tools to remove. During your routine check-ups, the health of your teeth and gums will be assessed.
If you have any questions about plaque/ ways to reduce it, we encourage you to contact us to schedule an appointment today.