How to prevent the build-up of plaque

Article written by Elite Dental Group.

Plaque build-up is common and is seen on teeth as a brownish-yellow bacterial film that grows over a person’s teeth and gums. Plaque can be harmful to teeth as it produces acidic waste that deteriorates teeth, causing cavities and gum disease.

If plaque is left undisturbed it can grow into tartar. Tartar is a hard growth that can only be removed by a dentist as removing tartar at home can cause damage, bleeding, and infection to teeth and gums.

The following techniques can help to reduce plaque build-up:

Brush correctly – Brushing for 2-3 minutes in a circular, gentle motion will help to remove plaque as it settles on teeth.

Chew sugar-free gum – Chewing sugar-free gum after meals for at least 20 minutes can help prevent decay as it stimulates saliva production which neutralizes mouth acid. Additionally, chewing gum can pick up food particles lodged between teeth.

Using an antiseptic mouthwash – Using an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing can protect teeth against plaque as mouthwashes can reach areas in the mouth that a toothbrush has missed.

Eating fruits and vegetables – Consuming foods that are high in sugar and starch can increase the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, control plaque as they are high in fiber which stimulates saliva production, improving dental health.

Drink plenty of water – Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will help to stimulate saliva production, rise the mouth from food particles and bacteria.

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