Tooth plaque is a fact of life that happens to everyone.
Tooth plaque is the sticky film that forms when bacteria in your mouth build up on your teeth. Allowing plaque to hang around for too long will negatively affect your choppers.
It eats at your gums and makes them weak, the resultant effect is tooth decay and gum disease. You can not completely rid your mouth of bacteria (some kinds are good for you), but you can prevent plaque buildup with these five tips.
- Brush twice daily, the right way.
We all know it is very important to brush daily, but how often should we brush daily. Nadia Armentrout, DDS said ideally, everyone is supposed to brush after each meal to remove plaque as soon as it develops.
Brushing before going to bed is very important because, without it, plaques will sit on your teeth all through the night.
It is recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush because hard bristles toothbrush can be rough on your gums. A toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months. If it gets too worn, it won’t work well.
This is how to get the best out of each trip to the sink:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums while you brush.
- Your whole mouth both outer and inner surfaces and tops of your teeth should be covered.
- It is recommended that you use gentle, circular strokes about a tooth wide.
- Scrape away bacteria and freshen your breath by brushing your tongue.
- Spend at least two full minutes on brushing.
Electronic toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque. They are much more effective than the manual says, Armentrout.
- Ensure To Clean Between Your Teeth.
Plaques do not only gather on your teeth, but it also hides in the spaces between your teeth. Using a flossing device or other tools that reach in between your teeth is the key.
Arusha Patel, DMD, says tooth brushing alone does not remove plaque from between the teeth.
Flossing is recommended at least once each day. If you are not comfortable with wrapping floss around your fingers, then other options are very effective, including:
- Water flossers
- Wooden plaque removers
- Pre-threaded flossers
- Dental picks
- Small, straight brushes that fit between your teeth
You can always clean between your teeth as there is no right or wrong time to do so. It can be done before you brush or after. Better still you can create a time for flossing every day. The most important thing is to do it daily.
- Rinse With Mouthwash.
For some people, another plaque prevention toolkit is antibacterial mouthwash. Peter says mouthwash generally can help loosen plaques from the teeth, making it easier to remove.
One needs to find out which brand or type is good for him/her, because a type that is good for someone else may not be good for you.
According to Armentrout, the recommendation of mouth wash should be according to the patient’s need. Mouthwash will help you a lot if you are prone to cavities or if you have gum inflammation or dry mouth.
Although some mouthwash with alcohol can dry your mouth out. This type is not good for plaque prevention. Saliva helps keep your mouth healthy. Dry mouth can lead to a type of plaque called sticky plaque, which is more difficult to clean.
Consult your dentist about which mouthwash might be right for you.
- Avoid or Limit Your Sugar and Starch Intake.
After eating a bacterial rush to the sugar left in your mouth and feed on it. More sugary food attracts more bacteria, and the more bacteria you are to deal with when you brush.
Patel says acidic foods and sugary foods cause decay. Sparingly eat them, and you will avoid problems.
Worst foods that can cause plaque and tooth decay to include:
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Starchy foods like bread and potato chips
- Sticky candies that cling to your teeth.
Drink plenty of water after eating any of the above to wash away bits of food and keep your mouth moist. Brush after you eat and do not snack between meals to keep your teeth white. You can chew sugarless gum after meal if you are not near your toothbrush.
- Regularly Visit your Dentist.
Even though most of your plaque prevention happens in your daily routine. Yet it is important to see your dentist twice a year.
Some areas are difficult to clean at home by yourself, hence the need to see your dentist so he can help you do a thorough cleaning, places like under the gums or behind the second molars.
Apart from helping you to clean the spots you couldn’t clean by yourself, your dentist can catch any issues early before they become bigger problems.
Keeping a close watch on your oral health can ensure your smile stay bright in the long run.