Dental Plaque: What Is It & How to Avoid It!

Family Dentist in Alabama

Dentist in Athens

It’s important to know what causes dental plaque so you can avoid it! In this blog post, we will talk about what causes dental plaque, how to prevent it from building up on your teeth, and the importance of brushing twice per day. We’ll also discuss why flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral health.

What is Dental Plaque?

Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can build up on teeth and lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other dental issues. Plaque forms when you don’t brush your teeth regularly or fail to implement good oral hygiene habits.

When not removed by brushing properly, plaque hardens into tartar. Tartar is a form of dental calculus or mineral deposit that can’t be removed by brushing alone.

What Causes Dental Plaque?

There are three main causes of dental plaque:


  • A buildup of the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease on your teeth is caused by poor oral hygiene habits.


  • Not brushing your teeth regularly – twice a day for two minutes each time!


  • Indulging in sugary foods and drinks leads to increased acid in the mouth. Too much sugar will cause bacteria to produce more plaque on your teeth.


How to Avoid Dental Plaque

So, how can you avoid dental plaque? While the only way to completely remove plaque from your teeth is a professional dental cleaning, there are several ways to prevent dental plaque between appointments.

The best way to prevent dental plaque is by consistently brushing your teeth twice a day. Be sure to practice proper brushing techniques, brushing the surface of each tooth.

Flossing also plays a crucial role in helping you avoid dental problems caused by plaque. Flossing removes food particles, debris, and bacteria from between your teeth. If left untouched, this may lead to plaque buildup in the future.

Another way to prevent dental plaque is to eat more fruits and vegetables! Not only do many fruits and vegetables help scrub the plaque off your teeth, but they also satisfy cravings, allowing you to eat less sugar. The acidity of sweet treats will accelerate the growth of dental plaque.

When you do indulge in a sweet treat, be sure to rinse well after you are finished as anything high in sugars can cause the buildup of bacteria on teeth (hello cavities!).

The Role of Dental Cleanings in Eliminating Plaque

Although it is important to practice good oral hygiene to reduce plaque on the surface of your teeth, professional dental cleanings are the only way to fully eliminate plaque.

Because of this, it’s important to make bi-annual dental exams and cleanings a priority. Not only does your dentist remove hardened tartar before it turns into cavities but they also look for signs of decay, disease, or other health concerns.

By taking the time to establish great oral hygiene habits, you can reduce the possibility of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease – something that will continue to benefit your health for years to come.

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