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Dental Plaque

Dental Plaque


5 Steps to removing Dental Plaque

Bacteria can adhere to the sticky coating known as plaque on teeth. Acids produced by bacteria can result in tooth decay. Plaque can be removed and prevented with the use of good oral hygiene and dental care.

Symptoms of Dental Plaque


Plaque is often colourless or light yellow. During an oral examination, a dentist can use a small mirror to detect plaque on your teeth.

Causes of dental plaque

The environment in your mouth is thriving. When you eat, drink, and breathe, bacteria and other creatures enter your body. Your oral environment typically maintains a delicate balance, but issues might occur if some bacterial strains become overly prevalent.

When you consume carbohydrates and sugar-rich foods and beverages, bacteria feed on the sugars and produce acids as a result. These acids have the potential to result in issues like tooth decay and various types of gum disease.

Even when you can’t see it, plaque-caused tooth decay can eat away at the structure holding your teeth in place.

Plaque accumulation can have negative health effects. By consuming the sugars in the foods you eat, the bacteria in plaque produce acid, which can harm your teeth and result in cavities. Additionally, the bacteria produce toxins that can irritate your gums and cause periodontal disease (gum disease).

Tartar is a hard deposit that forms when the minerals in your saliva react with the plaque on your teeth. Calculus is another word for tartar. Tartar can develop above and below the gum line, just like plaque. Plaque bacteria can grow rapidly because tartar creates a breeding environment for them to do so.

Tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing, in contrast to plaque. You must see your dentist to get rid of it, who will use specialised tools to do so using a process known as “scale and polish.” Tartar from the teeth is removed or picked off during scaling, and polishing helps the teeth become smooth and shiny thereafter.

Complications of dental plaque

After you eat or drink, bacteria in plaque start to create acids. These acids have the power to erode tooth enamel, resulting in cavities and gingivitis (gum disease). Additionally, plaque can form on tooth roots and gums, weakening the bones that support teeth. Untreated plaque can become tartar, which is difficult to remove.

When to see a dentist for dental plaque

If you experience dental issues, such as a toothache or sudden, severe pain in your tooth when you eat or drink, when you clean your teeth, your gums hurt, are swollen, or bleed.

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Treatment of dental plaque

Plaque can be removed from your teeth by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing often. Because electric toothbrushes are thought to be more successful at removing plaque, dentists advise using them.

Plaque can be removed effectively by using toothpaste that contains baking soda, according to a reliable source.

A dentist or hygienist will need to remove plaque that has turned into tartar. At your routine dental checkup and cleaning, your dentist or oral hygienist can get rid of it. To keep tartar under control, it’s crucial to see a dentist twice a year since it can accumulate in difficult-to-reach areas.

5 steps to remove Dental plaque

Brushing your teeth at least twice daily is the most straightforward technique to get rid of plaque. Use a gentle toothbrush, and swap it out when the bristles start to fray at least every three to four months. Another option is to use an electric toothbrush, which has the potential to be more efficient in removing plaque than a conventional toothbrush.

To make any food fragments easier to brush away, floss before brushing. To use dental floss:

  1. Take a piece of floss that is about 45 centimetres long, and wrap one end around the centre of each finger.
  2. Gently push the floss between two teeth while holding it taut between your thumbs and forefingers.
  3. On the side of one tooth, arrange the floss in the shape of a “C.”
  4. Gently move the floss up and down while keeping it pressed on your tooth. Avoid jerking or snapping the floss.
  5. Be sure to floss behind your back teeth as well. Repeat this procedure for all of your teeth.

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After flossing, spend two minutes every time brushing your teeth. Flossing your teeth

  1. On your toothbrush, put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For kids, use a quantity of toothpaste equivalent to a grain of rice.
  2. With your gums at a 45-degree angle, place your toothbrush on your teeth.
  3. Short, soft strokes that are the same width as each of your teeth should be made back and forth with your toothbrush.
  4. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well as the inside, exterior, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
  5. Make little up-and-down strokes with your toothbrush while holding it vertically against the inside of your front teeth.

Unfortunately, after being removed by brushing, the plaque quickly returns. Other at-home remedies are suggested by some specialists to reduce plaque accumulation. Baking soda remedies and oil pulling are a couple of examples.

Oil pulling

Oil, typically coconut or olive oil, can be swished about in the mouth to strengthen teeth, stop tooth decay, relieve sore gums, and get rid of plaque.

One tablespoon of coconut or olive oil is swished about in the mouth for 20 to 30 minutes to perform an “oil pull” (far longer than one would typically swish around regular mouthwash). Because it includes fatty acids like lauric acid, a compound with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, coconut oil is thought to be especially healthy.

Baking soda

Researchers discovered that using toothpaste containing baking soda increased the amount of plaque that was eliminated from the teeth and reduced the amount of plaque that returned after a 24-hour period.

The fact that baking soda is a natural cleaner and abrasive, making it suitable for cleaning, makes it helpful in eliminating plaque.

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Prevention of dental plaque

The greatest strategy to stop plaque from forming is to maintain regular oral hygiene practices. The British Dental Association advises at least twice daily, ideally in the morning and before you go to bed, to brush your teeth for two minutes each time, and floss once daily.

Daily flossing is also crucial because plaque can accumulate in the narrow areas between teeth. And going to the dentist for cleanings and examinations regularly is essential for maintaining good oral health.

When you rinse and floss, think about using a mouth rinse product to get at the bacteria between your teeth. Researchers concluded in 2016 after reviewing the medical literature that using mouth rinses in addition to brushing and flossing significantly reduces plaque and gingivitis.

Mouthwashes contain a variety of active substances, including chlorhexidine (CHX), probiotics, herbs, and essential oils.

CHX is only accessible with a prescription. While it works well to lessen plaque accumulation and improve gum health generally, it can also discolour teeth, promote the growth of tartar, and alter how food tastes to you.

You can think about using a probiotic or herbal rinse if you want a rinse that won’t leave stains or have any other negative effects. Both dramatically reduce plaque levels without causing the discolouration that can happen with a CHX rinse, according to 2016 research.

Additionally, studies have shown that using rinse solutions with essential oils reduces plaque buildup compared to just brushing and flossing. According to a 2017 analysis of studies, Listerine Cool Mint, which contains minute amounts of menthol, thyme, wintergreen, and eucalyptus oils, lowers plaque and gingivitis.

Additionally essential to preventing further plaque and tartar accumulation on your teeth are routine dental visits. Your teeth will be cleaned and scraped by your dentist to remove tartar and plaque. They might also apply a fluoride treatment, which can stop or slow the development of tartar and plaque on your teeth. This lessens the risk of tooth decay.

According to research, chewing gum with sorbitol or xylitol as a sweetener in between meals can help prevent plaque accumulation. Avoid chewing sugary gum since it promotes the growth of bacteria on your teeth. On the other hand, eating a nutritious diet low in added sugars can reduce the number of bacteria that grows on your teeth. Eat plenty of healthy grains, fresh fruit, and lean proteins.

According to research, chewing gum with sorbitol or xylitol as a sweetener in between meals can help prevent plaque accumulation. Avoid chewing sugary gum since it promotes the growth of bacteria on your teeth. On the other hand, eating a nutritious diet low in added sugars can reduce the number of bacteria that grows on your teeth. Eat plenty of healthy grains, fresh fruit, and lean proteins.

To avoid the growth of bacteria in between meals, use mouthwash or a dental pick, an interdental brush, or a dental stick.

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Chewing tobacco and smoking both promote the growth of bacteria in the teeth. Stop using tobacco products, and if you haven’t tried them before, don’t start.

Outlook for dental plaque

Whether you are awake or asleep, a sticky film called plaque develops on your teeth. It is composed of many bacteria strains and a sticky covering.

The bacteria in plaque eat sugars and carbohydrates, and when they break down the sugars, they release acid. Gum disease and tooth decay can result from the acids’ destruction of your enamel and the roots of your teeth.

The good news is that you should be able to prevent plaque buildup and preserve the health of your mouth with regular brushing, flossing, mouthwash use, and visits to the dentist every six months.

Plaque and tartar will build up less on your teeth the better you care for them. To stop plaque buildup, clean your teeth at least twice a day and floss once. Additionally, remember to visit your dentist frequently for cleanings and preventative maintenance. In the long run, maintaining good oral hygiene will keep you healthy.

Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect that plaque or tartar buildup may be the cause of a dental problem. Your tooth problem will likely cause less harm and be easier (and less expensive) to fix the sooner you address it.