What Causes Plaque and Why Is It Harmful?
Plaque develops when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches), such as milk, soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids can destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
How Can Plaque Formation Be Prevented?
- To prevent plaque buildup, brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft, rounded-tip bristled toothbrush. Pay particular attention to space where the gums and teeth meet. Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
- Floss between teeth at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria.
- Use an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.
- Ask your dentist if a dental sealant is appropriate for you. Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to protect them from cavities and decay.
- See your dentist or oral hygienist every 6 months for a check-up and teeth cleaning.