Every patient wants to keep his or her smile healthy and attractive. Unfortunately, a substance called dental plaque threatens to undermine the structure of your smile by weakening oral tissues.
In this article our O’Fallon dentists are going to be discussing how plaque affects the patient’s smile, and steps that you can take to avoid the harmful side effects of plaque production.
So let’s start by reviewing what plaque actually is. Plaque is a sticky substance that builds up in your mouth throughout the day and night. Plaque is filled with oral bacteria, so as this substance builds up on your gums and dental enamel your mouth is coated in bacteria.
When plaque is in your mouth, it is active and changing. Oral bacteria feed on the very foods and drinks that you consume. So the bacteria present in oral plaque begin to produce acids as they feed and grow, thus wearing away the strength and resiliency of your enamel and other tissues.
The key to maintaining a strong smile is to limit the amount of plaque that is allowed to negatively affect your smile. In order to do this, you need to clean plaque from your mouth on a regular basis (which means brushing and flossing as your dentist recommends). You also need to consume plenty of water, so that your natural saliva can neutralize some of the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Additionally, you can limit consumption of foods that oral bacteria really love. These foods include anything with a high amount of starch or sugar.
Finally, because it is impossible to get rid of all oral plaque on your own at home, you should see your dentist at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings. During these cleanings our dental team will give your smile a fresh start.
To get more information about the dangers of plaque, please contact our O’Fallon dentist office and speak with a member of our dental team.