3 Ways to Easily Remove Stubborn Plaque
We’ve all been there. You wake up in the morning and run your tongue across your teeth only to feel rough patches of plaque that have built up overnight. The layer of ick you feel is known by a few different names: biofilm, plaque, and tartar. No matter what we call it, we can all agree that it’s something we don’t want to feel or see on our teeth. So, what do you do if you have stubborn plaque build-up? Advanced Dentistry by Design has three ways that can help remove plaque and refresh your smile.
Brush, Brush, Brush
So, no surprise here, but brushing your teeth to mechanically remove the layer of bacteria from your teeth is important for your oral health. The complex network of bacteria on your teeth doesn’t break up easily, so it’s important to follow the American Dental Association recommendations for brushing. As a refresher, here is the proper way to brush:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
Brushing our teeth helps break up the biofilm (the sticky network of bacteria on the surface of our teeth) and physically removes the bacteria from the tooth surface. While the bacteria and biofilm do grow back, the physical removal prevents harmful build-up of cavity causing bacteria.
Floss Like a Pro
While brushing physically breaks up and removes harmful bacteria from the surfaces of the teeth, the bristles can’t remove plaque and build-up from between the teeth. Therefore, your dentist and hygienist encourage flossing. The thin strips of wax-covered string can easily glide between the teeth and physically remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Flossing can help decrease your risk for cavities and gum disease. If you aren’t sure how to floss properly, check out this instructional video by the ADA.
Visit Your Dental Professional Regularly
Everyone’s biofilm is as unique to them as their fingerprint. Therefore, everyone has different needs for dental care. To keep your smile healthy, it is important to keep up with regular dental visits. For a low-to-moderate risk patient, appointments every 6 months usually do the trick. However, if you are at higher risk for decay, gum disease, or other dental issues your dentist may want to see you more frequently. When you come in for a visit, you will probably sit for a professional cleaning. This usually entails your hygienist polishing and flossing your teeth. Getting a professional cleaning is an excellent way to remove plaque, especially from hard to reach areas, like behind the back molars. You may have x-rays taken and have an oral exam by the dentist.
The best way to beat stubborn plaque is to stay on top of it. Don’t let days go by without brushing or flossing or years between dental visits. To keep your mouth free from cavity causing bacteria, brush twice a day, floss once a day, and see Advanced Dentistry by Design at regular intervals.