Leftover food particles allow the bacteria in your mouth to multiply and form plaque. This sticky substance that builds up on teeth contains acid that can wear away enamel and cause cavities. Plaque can also harden and compromise your teeth, gums and overall oral health.
Plaque forms due to the chemical reactions that happen in your mouth. Bacteria, food particles, carbohydrates and saliva are all responsible for creating plaque. If you frequently eat foods with higher sugar content, you are more likely to have plaque. The first stage of formation happens while you chew or break down food into carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates combine with the bacteria in your mouth to create acid. The acid then eats away enamel and combines with leftover food particles and saliva. At this stage, another chemical reaction occurs and forms a new substance called plaque.
As plaque builds up on your teeth, it can cause bad breath and make your teeth turn yellow. If you do not brush properly after meals, this sticky film will turn into a substance called tartar, which needs to be scraped off your teeth. Once the tartar forms, it will be more difficult to brush and floss your teeth effectively.
You only have a limited time to remove plaque before it hardens. Most of it usually hardens within 48 hours of formation, and within several days, it will be so hard and impossible to remove. The only way to get rid of it is to see your dentist so they can scrape it off your teeth.
It is easier to prevent plaque with regular brushing and flossing. These activities remove loose food particles that contribute to the development of plaque. Make sure that you brush your teeth in two directions so you can remove all the plaque that forms on the surface.
It is also a good idea to pay attention to your diet. Plaque thrives with sugar and carbohydrates, so it is best to avoid cookies, candies and sugary foods. As it not possible to avoid all carbohydrates, make sure to choose healthy foods and brush your teeth after meals.
Do not let plaque lead to cavities and tooth decay. Follow a strict oral regimen and visit your dentist for regular cleaning. Browse through our website today and find out how we can help you feel confident about your smile and oral health.