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How to Prevent Plaque

The grimy film that develops on teeth after eating a meal and not brushing is called plaque. An accumulation of this stickiness and sliminess breeds the germs that cause tooth decay destruction. In order to prevent this substance from ruining your smile, it is important to not only brush your teeth and floss on a daily basis, but to also follow a few other prevention measures to ensure the best defense.

How to Prevent Plaque

What is Plaque?

Dental plaque is usually the clear-colored film that gathers on teeth after eating or drinking. When too much plaque accumulates in the mouth, it can seep into the spaces between your teeth, which results in cavities or other dental issues (like gingivitis and periodontal disease) [1]. Depending on the location, a specific composition of bacteria (anaerobes and streptococcus) forms on the teeth.

All of the microorganisms of plaque are naturally found in the oral cavity, but when abnormal conditions arise (usually caused by a lack of tooth brushing), a thick layer of plaque is the outcome [2]. The microorganisms situated closest to the surface of a tooth will begin to produce acid, which then starts to eat away at teeth. Since saliva is unable to help with the removal of this plaque buildup, the plaque remains on the tooth surface – wreaking havoc.

Plaque is also known to cause gum irritation and lead to the holes formed by cavities. When a failure to remove plaque takes place, it becomes calculus and tartar, which is too hard for the average person to eliminate at home. Professional dental assistance becomes a must to remove this hardened substance.

How to Prevent Plaque

The composition and characteristics of plaque will change in regards to how long the substance is allowed to thrive within the mouth. In other words, plaque that has settled in for days is much harder to deal with than plaque that is 12 hours old. Below you will find some prevention techniques to keep damaging plaque under control:

a) Good Dental Practices:

It is highly recommended to follow a dental routine that includes frequent tooth brushing and flossing. While brushing the teeth is reasonable at both the start and end of the day, the best results come when one brushes after every meal and drink.

b) Mouthwash:

An effective mouth rinse can wash away most of the bacteria that aids in the creation of plaque. Choosing a reputable antiseptic and anti-plaque selection can also keep gingivitis and bad breath away.

c) Regular Dental Checks:

In order to boost good oral care, routine visits to the dentist is a must, as they can detect tooth decay and issues with plaque far better than the average person [3]. When a problem surfaces, they can prescribe the proper medication or suggest effective treatment measures. According to the Chicago Dental Society, individuals are encouraged to visit a dentist at least every six months for a cleaning and complete examination.

d) Snacking:

To reduce plaque, it is suggested to limit the amount of snacks you consume in between your meals. Additionally, the snacks that you do choose should offer a decent level of nutrition.

e) Quick Action:

If you experience any problems with your gums or teeth, you should make an appointment with a dentist in a hurry.

f) Future Possibilities:

Hopefully, in the future, humans will be afforded the same kind of dental gel that has worked wonders for dogs and cats. This particular gel is applied to the teeth where it forms a coating that eventually breaks down – killing harmful bacteria and treating infections of the gum and teeth.

Resources

[1] http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/word/p/word_plaque.html
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_plaque
[3] http://www.dentistry.com/articles/Plaque_Causes_and_Prevention.aspx

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