There are many health concerns in today's hectic world, but much of the time, taking care of our mouth, gums and teeth are forgotten. We are constantly eating and using our teeth, but we usually only clean them once or twice a day. With all this disregard for oral hygiene, plaque builds up much easier. Plaque is like a sticky cement that is full of bacteria. It forms on the surfaces of our teeth as well as in the cracks, crevices, grooves and fissures on our teeth, gums, and tongue.
If plaque is allowed to sit on our teeth, it can cause a lot of major problems. The longer it sits, the harder it is to remove. In the later stages when plaque has been sitting on our teeth and gums, it is called tartar or calculus. If we let plaque get to this stage, we can't clean it off; we must go to the dentist or a dental hygienist to have it scraped off with a special plaque and tartar removing tools.
If we are proactive in our actions, we can remove plaque before it becomes a problem. Brushing every day in an effective manner and flossing every day can help to remove any plaque on the teeth before it becomes a major problem.
If plaque is left on our teeth for even longer periods of time and we don't go to the dentist for regular checkups, the bacteria in plaque can cause very expensive, painful and destructive problems. When the bacteria are left on the teeth it is held very tightly to the surface of the tooth. It then takes certain foods like sugars and starches and turns them into decay-producing acid. The acid caused by plaque begins to work at dissolving the tooth and cause cavities. In addition to cavities, the bacteria in plaque can cause gum disease called gingivitis and bone disease called periodontitis. The most common reason that adults lose their teeth is caused by gingivitis and removing plaque from out teeth regularly before it becomes a problem can prevent tooth loss.
There are some basic suggestions for taking care of your teeth, removing plaque and therefore preventing cavities, gum disease, and other oral hygiene problems. First, use a soft toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily. Also, floss at least twice a day. It's important to learn correct form when brushing and flossing your teeth in order to prevent plaque buildup. You don't want to harm your gums by flossing or brushing too hard. If you don't know the correct ways to brush and floss, contact your dentist and he or she can show you how. It's also a good idea to lightly brush the top of your tongue to remove any plaque that might be beginning to build up there.
In addition to removing plaque, following these guidelines will help prevent bad breath. Mouthwash can be another plaque fighting tool, but it is not nearly as effective as brushing and flossing. There is plenty of material to help you develop correct oral hygiene habits. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions you have. By taking care of your teeth, you will prevent plaque buildup and avoid much pain, disease, and monetary setbacks.