Why do your teeth feel like they have a sweater on when you first wake up? That fuzzy and slippery coating across your pearly whites is dental plaque. The good news is that plaque buildup is perfectly normal after a night’s sleep and can typically be removed without issues when you use your toothbrush. The unsettling news is that plaque is actually a community of microbes living on your teeth that can cause some serious damage if left for too long.
What Happens When Plaque Stays
We can’t avoid plaque altogether. It develops inside our mouth and on our teeth when what we eat and drink combines with our oral bacteria. However, it doesn’t take long for plaque to thicken and eventually harden. When plaque hardens into tartar, it becomes a problem. Tartar can build up in the front, back, and sides of the teeth, as well as along your gum lines. Left untreated, this triggers bigger issues such as tooth decay, gingivitis and other unwanted oral health problems.
Ways to Remove Plaque
Thankfully, before plaque hardens into tartar, it can be easily removed. Here are some steps you can take keep plaque away and prevent this inevitable substance from hardening into tartar.
#1 Brush Your Teeth – 2 minutes, 2 times a day. A soft-bristled brush is all that is needed to remove the sticky film of plaque.
#2 Floss Your Teeth – Remember that plaque can accumulate in between your teeth too. Without floss, you’re allowing 35% of your tooth surfaces to remain a harbor for plaque and tartar.
#3 Swish Your Mouth – Sometimes plaque gets stuck in places that a toothbrush and floss can’t access. A swish of mouthwash can help breakup stubborn plaque and help reduce gingivitis.
#4 Bi-Annual Dental Cleanings – Seeing your dentist for a professional dental cleaning is the ONLY way to remove plaque once it hardens into tartar. This can save you from your next cavity and help you avoid the devastating impact of gum disease.
Your teeth don’t need “sweaters” this winter. Call West Hill Family Dental today. We’d love to help you get rid of stubborn plaque and reveal your healthiest and most confident smile.