Address: 3325 Premier Drive, Plano, TX 75023

6 Ways to Prevent Plaque Build-Up on Your Teeth

Have you ever gone a while without brushing your teeth? Did you run your tongue along your teeth and notice that they felt kind of “fuzzy?” That feeling is caused by accumulation of plaque, a colorless sticky film left behind on the teeth when you neglect to brush for a while. How exactly does it form? How can you keep it at bay? Let’s take a closer look at 6 ways to prevent plaque build-up.

How Does Plaque Form and What Does It Do?

When you frequently consume carbohydrates, or sugars and starches, and don’t brush afterwards, those carbohydrates are left on the teeth. These bits of food combine with bacteria that is already present in the mouth to form plaque. The bacteria then produce acids which eat away at tooth enamel and create cavities. When you abstain from brushing or flossing for long enough, bacteria in plaque can even reach beneath the gumline and erode at the bone structures supporting a tooth. Now let’s look at 6 ways to keep this from happening:

1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

Use a toothbrush with soft, rounded-tip bristles. Be sure to gently brush the area where teeth meet gums, as that is where plaque likes to accumulate. Use toothpaste that has fluoride to strengthen the teeth and protect against decay.

2. Floss Once a Day

Flossing removes particles of food from between the teeth that, when left there, can attract bacteria and form plaque.

3. Use a Mouth Rinse

Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash is a great way to flush out the bacteria that can cause plaque.

4. Eat a Balanced Diet

Sugary snacks and beverages are like catnip to bacteria. Make sure to limit the amount of sugary foods, and between-meal snacks in general, that you have to keep plaque at bay. Substitute these foods for healthy ones like Greek yogurt, cheese, or fresh fruits and veggies.

5. Visit Your Dentist

Make sure to see your dentist for a regular checkup every six months. Your dental hygienist can give you a professional cleaning using special instruments to remove tartar, or plaque that is hardened and can cause decay and gum disease. Since you can’t remove tartar by yourself, it’s important to get a dental professional to do it twice a year.

6. Ask Your Dentist About Sealants

Dental sealants are thing plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. They protect teeth from cavities and decay. Although they are usually used for children who have trouble reaching their molars to brush them, they can be used for people of any age.

Preventing plaque from building up is pretty easy. Just follow these 6 steps, and make sure to ask your dentist if you have any more questions.

About the Author

Dr. Christopher Pollard earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1988 from Baylor College of Dentistry. Now he combines his loves of science and helping others at Dental Renaissance in Plano, TX. He is a member of multiple professional organizations, such as the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. To learn more about how to prevent plaque build-up, you can reach Dr. Pollard through his website or at (972)-954-2643.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Handle the Most Common Dental Emergencies

Some dental emergencies are more common than others. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about how to handle common dental emergencies before you can make it to the dentist. With the right response, a dental emergency won’t become a crisis.

A Smile Makeover: What You Can Expect

If your smile gives anything less than a stunning first impression, you will benefit from a smile makeover. Combine several cosmetic dentistry treatments in a smile makeover to get you a winning grin that boosts your confidence and gets you noticed.

8 Cool Facts About Invisalign® You Didn't Know

If you’re tired of crooked teeth, you don’t have to suffer through the embarrassment and discomfort of traditional braces with metal wires and brackets. There’s a reason why Invisalign® is the industry leader in clear teeth-straightening systems.

Do I Need a Night Guard?

Many people clench or grind their teeth when they sleep. If you do, you might need a night guard to prevent clenching and grinding from doing serious damage. But how do you know if you could benefit from a night guard? Keep reading to learn more!

How to Correct a Gummy Smile

When we try to connect with others, a smile can mean a great deal. A condition with excessive gums, also called a gummy smile, can impact how people see you and make you feel self-conscious about your teeth. Keep reading to learn more.