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Dental Plaque-How to prevent it from building up

What Is Plaque?

Dental plaque is the buildup with the slimy feel that is ever present on your teeth. It is a living thriving bacterial habitat. More than 800 different types of bacteria are present. Most are harmless. Some, especially an organism called streptococcus mutans, cause tooth decay by producing acid from dietary sugars which dissolve tooth enamel. Others, are responsible for gingivitis (mild, reversible gum disease) and periodontitis (severe, irreversible gum disease).

What Does Plaque Do?

Plaque is a normal, if unwelcome, biofilm. It is a bacterial jungle. It cannot be prevented from growing. It must be removed every day. Some bacteria present cause tooth decay, others, cause gum disease. It is the major cause of tooth loss, through tooth decay and gum disease, in both children and adults across the world. Your dental health is more dependant on controlling dental plaque than on all other measures put together. If you do not control dental plaque dental disease must follow.

What Do I Do To Stop Plaque From Happening?

You cannot prevent plaque. Since no single method can eliminate plaque a combination of strategies is used to minimise its growth and harmful effects.

  • Since plaque is colourless it helps to stain it using disclosing tablets which stain it red/blue so you can see and remove it more easily.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Refined sugars should be kept to a minimum and their frequency limited to 4 times a day or less, preferably at mealtimes. It is these sugars which act as the source of acid for the bacteria in plaque resulting in decay.
  • Avoid soft drinks, the bacteria can thrive in their acid environment.
  • You need to brush your teeth 2 a day for 2 minutes each time. It is essential to do it correctly otherwise you will not achieve good results.
  • You should floss once a day.
  • Attend the hygienist and dentist for regular 6 monthly checkups.

Use Emergency Dental Service

Emergency Dental Service is the #1 online resource for connecting patients with dental emergencies directly to dentists in their local area. We are also a great patient referral resource for mobile clinics & dentist with off peak/weekend hours. Visit us online or call our 24 hour patient center at: 1-888-350-1340


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