Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that sticks to your teeth. While brushing and flossing at home is a good way to safeguard oral health, it's not enough to completely prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues caused by plaque buildup. Hardened plaque (tartar) can only be removed during a teeth cleaning, which is why it's important to see your dentist every 6 months.
Continue reading to learn. For more information, call our dentist office to schedule your appointment.
Brush and Floss Teeth
Plaque loves to feed on the sugar left behind on your teeth after meals. For this reason, it's important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. If you don't floss, you could be leaving behind dental plaque hiding between teeth and along the gum line. The bacteria from plaque produce acids that destroy tooth enamel and gum tissue. In fact, plaque on teeth is one of the leading causes of cavities and gum disease.
Schedule a Dentist Appointment
Before the dental hygienist begins the teeth cleaning, they will examine the inside of your mouth for obvious signs of tooth decay and gum disease. We may also take dental x-rays if it's been awhile since your last ones.
It's important to see your dentist every 6 months for a dental exam because it significantly reduces your risk of needing emergency dental care. While a small cavity can be treated with a filling, a tooth abscess will need an emergency root canal or even extraction. During the dental cleaning, our hygienist is able to use a special tool called a scaler to gently scrape plaque and tartar from teeth.
Only a dental professional can remove tartar from teeth. If you have tartar teeth, you'll want to schedule a dentist appointment as soon as possible. Tartar buildup increases your risk of cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
Re-Evaluate Your Oral Hygiene Routine
If our hygienist takes longer than normal to, this could be a sign that you're not doing enough at home. Our dentist will be more than happy to teach you how to take care of your smile. For example, if you're already brushing and flossing, our dentist may recommend a fluoride rinse.
Fluoride helps strengthen teeth by giving enamel much-needed minerals. The acids in plaque aren't able to erode teeth as easily once they're fortified with fluoride. Swishing mouthwash also helps rinse away debris from brushing and flossing.
If you aren't having any luck with plaque removal after following our tips, ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to protect your oral health. For example, many patients don't brush their teeth long enough to remove plaque. Most dentists agree that it should take at least 2 minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Also, make sure that you're not neglecting back teeth during your oral hygiene routine.
Dr. Yun DDS is dedicated to helping patients maintain beautiful healthy smiles. We offer a range of preventive dentistry services which include teeth cleanings and dental exams. To schedule your appointment with our Grand Rapids dentist, call NorthPointe Family Dental at (616) 288-6134.