Being proactive about your oral health is the best way to prevent the many problems that can arise. One of the major contributors to oral maladies is plaque, and as you read on, your dentist in San Diego explains what it is, how it develops and what you can do at home to prevent it from causing destruction.
What is Plaque?
Bacteria are the main contributors to most oral health issues. Over time, more than 300 different types join together to form plaque, a clear, sticky substance that clings to your teeth and eventually seeps beneath the gumline. As it moves, it releases caustic substances that break down bone and tissue and lead to infection, cavities, gum disease and many other issues.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do at home to keep plaque at bay.
Fighting Plaque at Home
The reason that it’s important to have a plan for addressing plaque at home is that it will prevent you from seeking last-minute treatment from your local professional for an issue that has gotten out-of-hand. Because you spend a great deal of your time at home, it’s imperative to have a system in place that will protect you and work in conjunction with the preventive care you’ll receive when you go in to visit your dentist for semi-annual cleanings and checkups.
Excellent Oral Hygiene
One of the main things you can do at home is practice excellent oral hygiene, which should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least two times a day. It’s important that these be done in tandem because the former can only address 60 percent of the surface of your teeth. Your flossing efforts will take care of the remaining 40 percent by probing the areas that are harder to reach.
Bacteria and plaque like to hide in tight, warm spaces, so the combination of brushing and flossing leaves “no stone uncovered.”
Rinsing After Meals
Along with performing oral hygiene two times a day, it helps to clean your teeth after each meal. If, for some reason, you can’t brush or floss after eating or drinking, you can always rinse with mouthwash. This serves a couple of purposes:
- It flushes away the leftover particles that attract bacteria and can lead to plaque growth.
- It helps to keep your mouth moist, which makes the environment less pleasant for bacteria to grow.
Monitoring Your Sugar Intake
If there’s a single substance that bacteria love more than anything, it’s sugar. Thus, consuming snack foods and drinking sugary beverages can play a major role in plaque development. Every effort you make to replace nutrient-devoid foods and drinks with higher quality substitutes is a plus for your oral health and helps to prevent plaque growth.
By implementing these simple tips, you can protect your mouth, teeth and gums from the ills of bacteria and plaque. Additionally, by maintaining regular visits to your dentist for preventive care, you can be sure to have the best oral health possible. To schedule a visit, reach out today.
About the Author
Dr. Greg Friedman earned his dental degree from Washington University’s School of Dental Medicine and has since gone on to provide over 25 years of expert care. He takes pride in providing a patient-experience that is unmatched, and a visit to Dr. Friedman’s office is an opportunity for relaxation and superb oral care. He practices at Mod Squad Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.