What is Plaque?

Plaque is a thick substance that develops throughout the body and causes certain aspects to not function properly. If plaque develops in the arteries, it can prevent sufficient blood from pumping to and from the heart. When dental plaque develops on the teeth, it can cause significant harm to the entire mouth because it leaves it vulnerable to decay and disease. Dental plaque deserves your daily attention because of how quickly it develops and the damage it can cause.

On any given day there are millions of bacteria present inside your mouth. These bacteria have the intention of helping the mouth by breaking down particles left behind after you eat and drink anything other than water. However, as these bacteria attempt to “help” your mouth they actually turn very harmful to your entire oral health. As the bacteria react to the sugars and tiny particles left behind in your mouth they begin producing acids to help them break down these elements. Acids are dangerous and destructive to whatever is in their path, and when it comes to your mouth it is your teeth and your gum tissues that are in the path of the acids.

At the end of the day you can easily assess just how much bacteria and acid-laden plaque collects on your teeth. If you have ever run your tongue over your teeth and felt a fuzzy film, or if you have ever scraped your tooth and removed white substance, then you have had a direct encounter with plaque. Depending on what you eat on a certain day, plaque can literally coat your teeth in just a single day, compromising the entire wellbeing of your oral health.

Dental floss has been specifically created to remove plaque from the teeth, yet it is the most neglected oral health care tool. Many people wrongly assume that brushing their teeth twice a day is enough; however, toothbrushes are not designed to remove plaque from the teeth. Toothbrushes are designed to clean out the top surfaces of the teeth, freshen breath, and help to loosen plaque from the gum line. The bristles of a toothbrush cannot fit into the tight spaces between the teeth, nor can they get under the gum line. Dental floss glides underneath plaque at the gum line and between the teeth in order to scrape it away.

At South Texas Dental, we encourage all of our patients to take dental plaque seriously in order to protect their smiles. Plaque that is not removed on a daily basis will harden into tartar, and tartar removal requires a great deal of scraping from the dentist. The more you floss at home, the less scraping you will need to endure at the dentist.

Posted on Behalf of South Texas Dental 

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