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

Plaque is a problem that we’ve all had at one time or another. The first time we get plaque is usually during childhood. Most of us will have a childhood memory of the dentist telling us to brush our teeth better.

But what is plaque exactly? And what does it do to our teeth? In this post, we’ll answer these questions. We’ll also tell you how to avoid problems with plaque.

What is plaque?

Plaque is basically a build-up of bacteria on your teeth. If you touch it, it will feel soft and sticky. That’s because it contains millions of bacteria and the leftover food they’re feeding on.

Plaque forms when you eat a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates and you don’t brush your teeth properly. The bacteria in your mouth will feed on this leftover food and create plaque.

The problem with plaque is that it’s acidic and can therefore cause tooth decay and gum disease. Therefore it’s important to remove it regularly through brushing and flossing.

How to tell if you have plaque

It can be very difficult to tell if you have plaque just by looking at your teeth – that’s because plaque is almost invisible.

A quick way to check is by feeling your teeth. If your teeth feel rough instead of smooth, then you might have plaque.

A more reliable way to check is by using disclosing tablets. You can find disclosing tablets at most pharmacies. When you chew one of these tablets, the plaque on your teeth will be dyed bright red, making it clearly visible. Try using a disclosing tablet next time you brush your teeth to find out how good (or bad) you really are at brushing.

How to get avoid getting plaque

There’s a number of things you should do avoid plaque:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing your teeth and gums twice a day is the single most important thing you can do to avoid plaque. Brushing removes any plaque and also gets rid of any leftover bits of food in your mouth.
  • Floss. You should floss daily as it helps to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth.
  • Eat sugary foods in moderation. The number one cause of plaque is sugar and carbs. When you eat sugar and carbs, any bits of food left on your teeth will feed the bacteria in your mouth, in turn causing plaque. So try to limit the sugary foods you eat!
  • See a dental regularly To keep your teeth healthy and strong, it’s important to have your teeth checked frequently by a dentist. Your dentist will be able to remove any plaque you might have and will also be able to give you personalised advice about how to keep your teeth plaque-free.

If you’d like to see a dentist about plaque or any other dental problem, then just make an appointment by speaking to reception.

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