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What Is Plaque?

young woman brushes her teeth to remove dental plaque

No, we’re not talking about a plaque you might get as a commemoration for some kind of achievement. Unfortunately, plaque in the dental sense is far less desirable. Here are the basics you need to know about dental plaque to protect your oral health.

Plaque 101

Have you ever run your finger or tongue across your teeth and felt like there was a sticky film covering them? That’s plaque! Plaque forms when your mouth’s bacteria interact with the sugars and starches of the food you eat.

While plaque may be mostly colorless, the reason it needs to be handled is because it can produce acid, which in turn can lead to cavities and gum disease. Additionally, when left alone, plaque doesn’t just stay the way it is. It hardens to something called tartar, which is a darker color and can only be removed by a dental professional.

How to Manage Plaque

Plaque is constantly forming, which is why it’s so important to keep up with your dental routine. By brushing and flossing every day, you’re doing your part to keep plaque at bay. With brushing, the best practice is to do it twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes each time. With flossing, you should do it at least once a day.

On top of your work at home, make sure you’re visiting the dentist on a regular basis (twice a year is the recommended amount) so that a professional can spot and remove any plaque you may have missed, or any tartar you can’t get on your own.

CarolinasDentist Is Here for Your Oral Health!

If you need some additional help getting rid of dental plaque, don’t hesitate to ask us here at CarolinasDentist. We offer routine dental care, including professional teeth cleanings and tooth decay prevention, at all of our convenient locations. Whatever life brings, we’d love to be your partners in oral health!


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