What Is Plaque And How Does It Harm Your Teeth?

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Plaque is something your dentist will warn you about when you come in for regular visits. Everyone gets plaque on their teeth, simply from eating food, but you must remove it from your teeth if you want to avoid problems with your teeth and gums. Here are several important things to know about plaque.

Where does it come from?

You might not realize that your mouth contains a lot of bacteria, and this is natural; everyone's mouth has bacteria in it. This bacteria is sticky and likes to adhere to teeth. If your teeth do not feel super smooth, it is probably because they contain plaque. Because plaque is made up of bacteria, it smells bad and can lead to bad breath if you do not remove it.

What happens if you leave it on your teeth?

When you leave plaque on your teeth, it feeds on sugars from the foods and beverages that you consume, and this is when problems can begin to form in your mouth. As it feeds on sugars, the bacteria produces acids, and acids eat away at teeth. Additionally, plaque left on your teeth will start to harden over time, and this is what causes tartar on your teeth. Dental hygenists don't have trouble removing plaque from your teeth, but they have to work much harder to remove tartar.

The point of this is that plaque left on your teeth can eventually cause cavities to form, and cavities eat away at healthy tooth structure. If you do not want cavities in your mouth, you will need to focus on removing the plaque from your teeth.

How do you remove plaque?

Removing plaque is something you can do each day by brushing and flossing. When you brush your teeth, you can remove plaque from the surfaces of teeth and by the areas where your teeth and gum lines meet. With flossing, you can remove plaque from the in-between parts of your teeth and gum lines. You can also remove plaque by using mouthwash products and by getting your teeth professionally cleaned.

If you do not like going through dental procedures, such as tooth fillings and root canal procedures, you should aim to eliminate the plaque from your teeth every day. You should also visit your dentist for cleanings and exams at least two times each year. You can schedule a visit by calling a dental clinic today.