08 Aug Plaque Buildup from Poor Dental Habits
Many patients who visit our office for the first time are hesitant to disclose that they do not have the best dental habits. With busy lives and schedules, they confess to being a little lax on flossing after a hard day’s work. Our dentist, Dr. John Brady, would prefer that all our patients practice good regular oral care. That’s why part of our job is to encourage better habits and to provide thorough dental cleanings to round out at-home dental routines. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, during our dental cleanings Dr. Brady and our dental hygienists will check for any items of concern, such as plaque buildup from poor dental habits.
What is Plaque?
Plaque is created by bacteria that forms on our teeth. It often gathers around our gumline as a clear, film-like substance that can feel sticky on our teeth (Colgate, 2018). If plaque is not properly removed, it can harden to our teeth and form tartar, which is what the dental hygienist scrapes from our teeth during cleanings.
Unfortunately, plaque is not always visible, so you may not realize how much buildup is forming on your teeth. Careful dental habits, like brushing and flossing at least twice a day (including brushing your tongue), in addition to drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced diet, are the best ways to avoid plaque and tartar. By not removing plaque and tartar, you can develop gum disease, and if left untreated, gum disease can turn into a more serious form of periodontal disease. If your gums are impacted by tartar and plaque they may begin to swell or feel very irritated. With any signs of inflammation or bleeding in your gums, it is best to see your dentist to make sure you haven’t developed gum disease.
At Fairbanks Family Dental Care, we want to help our patients avoid gum disease, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Eating healthily and avoiding foods full of sugar and starch, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and daily exercise will help with overall health and contribute to good dental health. And of course, make sure your at-home dental habits include daily flossing, brushing twice each day, and if you like, gargling with a quality mouthwash. Add to your home care two dental cleanings per year in order to keep your teeth and gums strong. If you haven’t scheduled your biannual dental cleanings yet, give us a call. After all, you want to avoid plaque buildup from poor dental habits and keep your teeth, bones, gums, and smile in good shape for the rest of your life!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/7/2018) whitecat sg (Flickr)