What Steps Can I Take to Remove Dental Plaque?
We used to believe that tooth loss was a side effect of aging, but not any longer!
As science and healthcare have advanced, today’s dentists now know that following the proper oral hygiene routine can help ensure that you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Following the steps outlined here as well as seeing your Gentle Care Dentists professional regularly will put you well on your way to preserving your natural smile for years to come.
What is Plaque? Does It Lead to Tooth Decay?
Plaque is the result of bacteria that cannot be seen that reside inside of your mouth and on your teeth. Plaque sticks to your teeth, causing decay and gum disease.
Be alert for red, puffy, and bleeding gums as this can be an early warning sign of gum disease. Left untreated, teeth may eventually be lost as the tissues holding the teeth in place are destroyed.
Can I Remove Plaque at Home?
Dental plaque can be difficult to spot with the naked eye and is often stained by your dentist for detection. You can also purchase red, ”disclosing” tablets your local grocery store or use food coloring to spot plaque at home as part of your oral care routine.
The food coloring or dye that remains on your teeth will indicate the areas in which plaque has formed, and where it needs to be removed.
Practice this regularly to ensure that you detect plaque in the early stages. Consult with your Gentle Care dentist to make sure your routine is being performed correctly.
Like with cavity prevention, brushing and flossing regularly are important tools in your plaque removal arsenal.
Follow the steps outlined below daily to ensure that you are removing stuck food particles from between teeth.
To properly floss, hold floss at each end between your thumb and index fingers. Start at your upper teeth using a back and forth motion. Repeat this process on your lower teeth.
Be sure to slide floss gently into place between teeth, never snapping or forcing. This will protect your gums from injury.
Step two: Brush Teeth. Using your regular toothbrushing method, make sure that you are comfortable and not brushing aggressively. With a small, circular motion, gently clean teeth. Avoid using a back and forth motion. Rinse.
A fluoride toothpaste is critical in the prevention of decay and will aid in plaque removal. Always be sure to use a fluoride-containing toothpaste as part of your plaque removal routine.
Follow up by brushing your tongue for an extra fresh, ”just been to the dentist” feeling. Rinse.
Remember to remove all food residues from your teeth, as food residues and sugar feed the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
It’s best to remove plaque and food residues after each brushing, ideally twice daily (in the morning and at night). If you only brush once a day, practice your plaque removal routine before bedtime.
For more information on how to treat plaque, contact Gentle Care Dentists in Arlington, VA today to schedule your appointment.