What is dental plaque and how can I get rid of it?

dental plaque

Although brushing your teeth at least twice daily is crucial in maintaining a healthy regimen for oral health, it’s just as essential to have professional teeth cleanings every six months to promote your tooth and gum health. After a dental cleaning, you may notice that your teeth feel cleaner and look brighter. However, over time, they may appear more dull and yellow. The yellowish color on your teeth comes from dental plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth and develops from bacteria. It accumulates on your teeth both above and below your gum line. While it’s normal to produce plaque, it must be removed. If you fail to remove plaque with your daily brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings, it can lead to serious oral health issues like cavities and gum disease. Please continue reading and schedule an appointment with our professional teeth cleaning dentists located in Basking Ridge & Morristown, NJ, who can help you prevent damage to your teeth and gums if it’s not adequately removed. 

What causes plaque on the teeth?

Dental plaque is a filmy substance made from leftover food particles and saliva that mix in your mouth. When bacteria in your mouth mix with carbohydrates (sugary or stretchy foods/drinks), like milk, juice, soft drinks, bread, fruit, or candy, acids are released. If you don’t brush properly after meals, it will begin to form plaque. If you don’t brush and floss daily, plaque can eventually harden and turn into tartar. Unfortunately, extreme dental plaque and tartar can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, cavities, abscessed teeth, tooth loss, and other serious oral health issues. The most common symptoms of plaque include but are not limited to the following:

  • Your teeth feel fuzzy
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Receding gums
  • Red, swollen gums that bleed after brushing or flossing

How is dental plaque treated?

During a dental checkup, your dentist will use a scaling instrument to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Depending on your particular needs, they may recommend dental sealants. Dental sealants will help keep plaque from forming on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. They may even suggest trying dry mouth treatments to increase your saliva production. Fluoride treatments are also beneficial as they slow plaque growth, cause bacteria, and reduce the risk of tooth decay. Moreover, they may provide you with a prescription or antibacterial mouthwash. However, the most effective way to get rid of dental plaque is to have professional teeth cleanings.

Ultimately, plaque can build up on your teeth. However, regular dentist visits and good oral hygiene can help keep it away. As such, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of our skilled dentists, who can remove any plaque and tartar built up on your teeth with a scaling instrument. At Dental Associates of Basking Ridge, we are prepared to help you implement healthy oral practices in your daily routine to battle dental plaque. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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