Learn More About How Plaque Works From Our Elmhurst Dentist

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jan 12, 2016

Taking care of your smile every single day can sometimes feel like a chore. Our Elmhurst dentists understand this, but we are here to tell you that all of this work is totally worth it. Today we are going to be discussing how plaque affects your smile every day and over time. We hope that after reading this short article you will feel better informed about the dangers that your smile faces.

Plaque is a sticky substance full of oral bacteria. Plaque is inevitable; it simply forms throughout the day, and coats the different surfaces of your smile. Eating, drinking, breathing, and speaking can all contribute to plaque production.

So if we can’t stop plaque all together, we need to try and minimize the amount of plaque that builds up and stays on our teeth. This is because plaque demineralizes dental enamel, leaving you susceptible to dental cavities. Plaque also weakens gum tissue, which can result in periodontal disease.

The key to managing plaque is to clear plaque away quickly. When plaque is allowed to sit undisturbed on the patient’s smile for over a day, or so, it calcifies into a substance called tartar. Tartar is pretty difficult to clean off of enamel; in fact, you’ll need to undergo a professional dental cleaning in order to clear away tartar.

This is why the American Dental Association, as well our dental team, recommends that patients brush their smiles at least twice a day and floss once a day. Diligent daily dental care will minimize the amount of plaque in your mouth, and keep calcified tartar at bay.

Do you want to learn more about how to care for your smile at home? If so, our Elmhurst dentists are here for you—just give us a call!