Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that coats your teeth. If it isn’t removed by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar. Plaque and tartar buildup increases your risk of cavities and gum disease. You can’t avoid plaque completely – it’s always forming on your teeth – but you can do something about buildup!
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Because plaque is inevitable, you need to brush your teeth to keep it from building up too much. Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Brush for at least two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may think a hard-bristled brush is better at removing plaque, but it can damage your enamel and irritate your gums. Soft bristles are best!
Floss Every Day
Plaque builds up between your teeth and under your gums too! Flossing removes this plaque and any food debris. Make sure you’re using a clean piece of floss for each tooth or you’ll spread bacteria around. You can floss before or after brushing, as long as you floss every day.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
A balanced diet can help you reduce dental plaque. Foods high in fiber (like vegetables) encourage your saliva production, which helps wash away plaque. Crunchy fruits and veggies also work as a natural toothbrush by scrubbing the surfaces of your teeth.
Visit Ballston Dental Care Every 6 Months
Professional cleanings at the dentist are one of the best ways to prevent plaque buildup. Dr. Matney and our team have the special tools and knowledge needed to remove any plaque you missed, as well as tartar, which you can’t remove at home. This gives your smile a fresh, clean start! If you have more plaque buildup than usual, we offer deep cleanings.
At our office, we’re proud to offer cleaning services that prevent plaque buildup. Getting rid of plaque helps you avoid other dental issues like cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and more! If you have questions or are ready to schedule a cleaning, please contact us to schedule an appointment at Ballston Dental Care in Arlington, VA.
Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0