Plaque naturally builds up on your teeth throughout the day as you enjoy all of your favorite foods and drinks. This clear, sticky substance is full of acid and bacteria that can lead to enamel erosion and cavities over time. There is nothing you can do to stop plaque from forming in your mouth. Fortunately, however, there are things you can do to stop it from accumulating and causing serious damage to your smile. Here are a few tips from your dentist in Carrollton that will help you maintain a healthy mouth that is free of the bad consequences of plaque.
Brush Your Teeth
Good daily brushing habits are a cornerstone of an effective oral hygiene routine; it removes plaque and helps you to maintain fresh breath and healthy gums. To reap the greatest rewards from your brushing, please be sure to:
- Brush twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Brushing in the evening is especially important because it removes plaque that has formed on your teeth throughout the day, and you don’t want that icky stuff sitting on your teeth overnight.
- Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride helps to fortify your tooth enamel.
- Use gentle, short strokes. Brushing too aggressively can damage your teeth, and it won’t remove more plaque than if you brush gently.
- Consider investing in an electric toothbrush. Some studies indicate that electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than manual ones.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Brushing is extremely important, but a toothbrush can only reach about 60 percent of your teeth’s services. Flossing helps you to get rid of plaque on the surfaces of your teeth that face each other; it cleans out those tight spaces that your toothbrush could never reach. While water flossers can help remove some harmful substances from between your pearly whites, old-fashioned string floss tends to be more effective. Try to get into the habit of flossing at least once a day.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
Plaque forms when the bacteria in your mouth interact with sugars in the food you eat. Therefore, it’s best to cut sweet things out of your diet as much as possible. Some of the worst things you can consume include soda, candy, and sports/energy drinks. Many sugary foods have the added downside of being very acidic, which can further contribute to tooth damage.
Research has shown that people who smoke or chew tobacco are more likely to have tartar in their mouths (tartar is what plaque hardens into if it stays on teeth for too long). Therefore, quitting tobacco use can benefit your mouth as well as the rest of your body.
Plaque is the precursor of a host of dental problems, including cavities and gum disease. Please use the above tips to fight this harmful substance and keep your smile as healthy as possible.
About the Dentist
Dr. Dhiren Ahir is proud to serve as your family dentist in Carrollton. He enjoys interacting with patients and helping them to adopt good habits that fight plaque and promote oral health. If you would like to talk to Dr. Ahire about protecting your smile, please contact our office at 469-892-6647.