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How to Remove Plaque from Teeth

How to Remove Plaque from Teeth Grand Rapids, MI

Teeth 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 dental teeth cleaning, which is why it’s important to see your dentist every 6 months. Until then, this guide should help you learn the best at-home practices for how to remove plaque from teeth

Proper Brushing and Flossing 

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 your gum line. The thing about plaque is that you’ll often feel its effects before you see them. It builds up slowly, but when you feel a sharp pain from your tooth after cold or hot liquids or air, you’ll know plaque has started to do some damage. 

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. 

To help prevent this at home, follow our brushing and flossing rules. Remember to brush gently, as applying too much pressure can wear enameland actually make you more susceptible to tooth damage. 

Consider an Electric Toothbrush

If you’re using a traditional toothbrush, it might be time to consider switching to electric to help remove plaque from teeth at home.

Just because electric toothbrushes make the job of brushing your teeth easier it doesn’t mean they do a worse job. They actually do a better job of removing plaque from your teeth!

Electric toothbrushes can create a sort of whirlpool effect in your mouth, which can help to pull at the plaque trying to build upon your teeth. Traditional toothbrushes, although better than nothing, don’t offer this. 

Re-Evaluate Your Oral Hygiene Routine

If our hygienist takes longer than normal to remove plaque from teeth, 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 your enamel some much-needed minerals. The acids in plaque aren’t able to erode teeth as easily once they’re fortified with fluoride.

Swishing mouthwash can also help rinse away debris AFTER brushing and flossing!

Make sure to 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. While all three processes, brushing, flossing, and mouthwash are helpful, they’re strongest when done together. Don’t think because you used mouth wash you don’t have to also brush your teeth! 

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 a while 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 a dental cleaning, our hygienist is able to use a special tool called a scaler to gently scrape the plaque and tartar from your teeth. Remember that only a dental professional should remove tartar from teeth otherwise serious oral damages may occur. 

If you have tartar on your teeth, you’ll want to schedule a dentist appointment as soon as possible. Tartar buildup increases your risk of cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.

Need to Visit the Dentist?

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 an appointment with your Grand Rapids dentist, feel free to reach out and contact NorthPointe Family Dental online or by phone at (616) 288-6134.