The Truth Behind Plaque

Oral Hygiene Tampa, FLUnless you have been living under a rock for, well, forever, then you know the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. As your number one daily defense against cavities, brushing and flossing is not only good for your oral health, but they are beyond easy to add into your routine. By getting rid of plaque on your teeth, a good toothbrush, toothpaste, and a lot of dental floss can keep you out of the dentist chair and out doing things that you enjoy— like spending time with friends and family. So, even though you know that brushing and flossing get rid of plaque, do you know what this substance is and how it works? If not, read on to learn more.

What Is Dental Plaque?

As it first starts out, a plaque is a soft, sticky substance that is made up of bacteria caused by food, beverages and even the air around you. If left untreated, plaque can harden and turn into a substance called tartar which can ultimately lead to cavities and tooth decay. There are four main stages and classifications of bacterial dental plaque including:

  • Stage 1: This is the stage that occurs right after you eat and when your plaque is still soft and is called “early biofilm.”
  • Stage 2: This stage occurs after about 3-4 days and causes increased numbers of filaments and fusiform.
  • Stage 3: This stage occurs after about 4-9 days and produces complex flora rods and filaments.
  • Stage 4: This stage occurs after about 1-2 weeks and causes more gram-negative organisms and Vibrio species to occur.

Note that these stages should only occur if you don’t brush your teeth, but they can advance in rare cases.

How Is Dental Plaque Removed?

As previously mentioned, your number one defense against dental plaque is to brush and floss your teeth at least both morning and night. Additionally, you should be coming into Gentle Dentistry for your bi-annual cleanings. During your cleanings, your dentist will scrape off any plaque and tartar buildup so that it doesn’t get worse.

Now that you know a bit more about the plaque, you know the importance of taking better care of your teeth. To learn more about how you can have a healthier smile, contact Gentle Dentistry today to schedule an appointment!

Posted in: Oral Hygiene

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