Understanding How Plaque Works
Plaque is a sticky yellow substance that appears on your teeth and gums. It is created when the acids from foods are not cleaned via brushing, flossing and rinsing. Plaque’s bacteria destroy the integrity of teeth, wearing down the enamel and eventually causing cavities. When cavities are left untreated, you can lose part or all of a tooth. It is not a stretch to say that good oral hygiene can help you avoid these problems. The process is fairly simple. Visits to your dentist every six months should clear up any remaining issues.
What is Considered Good Oral Hygiene
While opinions differ slightly on the practices, brush angle and number of times the processes must be repeated, every credible expert believes you should brush your teeth, floss and rinse with antiseptic mouthwash twice daily. Many people do not brush or floss properly, allowing plaque to develop unnecessarily. The proper techniques include:
- Brushing teeth from every possible angle. Front teeth should be brushed head-on, with bristles of the brush moving in between spaces. Back teeth need to brushed on every side as well, something which is often overlooked in daily hygiene.
- Flossing teeth to maximize cleaning. Flossing is not something done to increase your comfort level, though it undoubtedly will. It is an essential part of removing bacteria. Using floss in a “C” formation to get to the bottoms of teeth is important.
- Mouthwash rinses that count. You have to rinse with antiseptic mouthwash for at least 30 seconds to get the full impact. You shouldn’t drink water or allow anything else to enter your mouth for about 20 minutes after. This protection goes a long way.
Using Dentist Visits for Vindication
You dentist will be able to tell you how well you are doing at daily hygiene. Many problems can be detected and corrected. When cleaning teeth with a scaling device, a dentist will see where plaque and tartar are causing issues. If you are going several years without needing cavities filled, you can consider your hygiene practices effective. Other problems like grinding teeth at night (bruxism) are harder to stop unless you wear a protective mouth guard.