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All You Need to Know About Tooth Plaque

  • Written by Marife Boiser


Tooth plaque, while not deadly, is certainly not something to be taken lightly. It’s considered the root of all dental health problems. Bacteria present in plaque create acids that devastate your tooth enamel, setting the stage for bad breath and more serious oral health issues like gingivitis. Therefore, you should be informed about tooth plaque. Here are the must-knows about this dental problem.


What is Tooth Plaque?


Have you ever felt a filmy sensation in between your teeth when you wake up in the morning or after every meal? It also feels that way if you haven't brushed your teeth yet.

The uncomfortable bumps you encounter when you move your tongue through your teeth are what dentists call dental plaque. Tooth plaque has a sticky outside layer that helps bacteria multiply, resulting in tooth decay or even gum problems.


To be clear, tooth plaque is not tartar. Tartar, an oral cavity stain, is caused by unremoved plaque in your gum line that eventually hardens, turning into a yellowish or off-white substance. Tartar is not removable through brushing alone, unlike plaque. With tartar, you need to seek a dentist's help, visit https://www.claremontdentalperth.com.au/news/causes-of-tooth-plaque to get rid of it altogether. 


What Causes Dental Plaque?


Most of us think that the cause of plaque buildup in our teeth is food particles stuck in your mouth, which is true. Additionally, the food that you eat can cause plaque. Did you also know that soda, coffee, chocolate, milk, and other sweet beverages could lead to plaque, or even worse, tooth decay? Plaque builds up when you sleep or after you’ve taken your meals.


Our mouth is an ecosystem of microbes. These microbes love sweet materials that are stuck in between your teeth. As you leave our teeth unbrushed, these microscopic organisms enjoy doing their bit in damaging our pearly whites. Overnight, they build plaque. This explains why you might feel that slimy coating in our teeth when you wake up in the morning.


Does plaque also lead to Bad Breath?


As microbes feast on the sweetness of unremoved plaque in our teeth, these tiny organisms start to secrete lousy odour. Microbes enjoy boarding in a wet environment like your mouth and delight in eating sweets as much as you do. When these microscopic creatures continuously secrete their waste, this eventually leads to foul-smelling breath when you wake up. While bad breath or halitosis is an internal digestive tract problem, tooth plaque nevertheless contributes to stinky breath.


How to Prevent or Avoid having a Tooth Plaque?


Dentists' primary recommendation to avoid getting tooth plaque is to brush your teeth after every meal or twice daily continually. Brushing your teeth could help prevent plaque from building in between your teeth, and having bacteria multiply exponentially in your mouth.


Other Ways to Avoid Tooth Plaque


Aside from brushing your teeth daily, dentists also recommend some tips to control plaque:


  1. Regularly change your toothbrush after 3-4 months of usage. Replacing your toothbrush would also reduce the buildup of microbes in your brush.
  2. Use toothpaste that has contained fluoride and active anti-bacterial properties.
  3. When drinking sugary beverages, it is advisable to use a straw to avoid possible stains in our teeth.
  4. Have a regular consultation with your dentist every six months.


Conclusion


Dental plaque may rank low among your health worries right now, but that should end. Cleaning your teeth shows how you value and take care of yourself. Personal hygiene affects not just your teeth, but your confidence and well-being as a whole. Therefore, taking care of your teeth is also taking care of your health. Oral hygiene is a gateway to overall health. This ought to make avoiding tooth plaque your health priority.

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