If you look in the mirror and see a healthy, white smile, congratulations! In order to keep it that way, you will need to make sure that your smile is plaque free. You may not realize it, but your teeth are covered in plaque. Not matter how straight, white, and healthy your teeth may be, plaque is constantly forming on them. That plaque contains bacteria, which is waiting to use the sugar in your food and drinks to create acid. That acid will attack the enamel of your teeth, and that can lead to cavities. As if that was not enough, your gums react to the presence of plaque, and tartar, which is a hardened form of plaque by swelling. That allows plaque to accumulate below the gumline, opening the door for gum disease and bacterial infection.
Obviously, plaque and tartar can cause some serious problems not only for your mouth, but for the rest of your body as well. Fortunately, fighting plaque is not very difficult. First, limit your intake of sugar. While this does include cookies and candy, it includes starches that form sugars as they break down. Using tobacco increases your risk of cancer, and also your risk of gum disease. You need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day. It is important to see your dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and exams. Your dentist will remove any plaque or tartar that your toothbrush may have missed, and check for the early signs of gum disease and tooth decay.
If you are concerned about the plaque on your teeth, or if it is just time for your checkup, then it is time to plan a visit with our dentist, Dr. Eric Dunn. If you live in the Oxford, Ohio, area and would like to make an appointment at Willow Creek Family Dentistry, call phone today.