The Plaque Fact Sheet From Our Elmhurst Dentists

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Apr 28, 2015

Our Elmhurst dentists want to help all dental patients maintain their strongest, healthiest smiles. In order to help people accomplish their dental goals, we have to minimize plaque production and accumulation as much as possible.

Plaque is an insidious and persistent threat to your teeth and gums. Today we are outlining key facts about plaque, so that you can better understand what it is, and how you can protect your smile from plaque-related problems.

How is plaque created?

Plaque accumulates during the day and night, as oral bacteria feed on the foods and drinks that you consume. The bacteria mix with saliva, and coat your dental enamel as well as your oral tissues.

What does plaque look like?

Plaque is pretty much invisible on your smile, so you need to clean your smile as recommended by your dentist even if it doesn’t seem like you have plaque on your teeth. Remember, plaque never stops proliferating!

How does plaque hurt my smile?

When the bacteria in oral plaque feed on the substances that you consume, they grow and produce new bacteria. As a byproduct of this process oral bacteria produce acids. These acids eat away at dental enamel, and weaken gum tissue and connective tissues. Over time this process causes dental cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

What should I do to keep plaque in check?

First and foremost, you should follow all of your dentist’s instruction for cleaning your smile. Most patients will need to be flossing at least once a day, and brushing in the morning and night. This schedule allows you to clear away freshly accumulated plaque before it has a chance to damage your smile. Also, every six months you should undergo a professional dental cleaning to give your smile a clean slate.

And remember, the more you are able to replace sugary and starchy foods with healthy fruits and vegetables, the easier it will be for your smile to stay strong and resilient. So call our Elmhurst dentists to learn more!