There’s a good reason why dental plaque is the main focus of your dental hygiene routine. However, the gravity of that reason can sometimes be lost when talking about good dental hygiene practices. In addition to emphasizing the importance of cleaning teeth on a regular basis, it’s also important to remember the reason why it’s so important – because, as a daily threat, plaque development can lead to some of the most worrisome chronic oral health concerns.

What dental plaque is made of

Dental plaque is a biofilm that forms on the surfaces of your teeth constantly throughout the day, and it’s a product of different types of oral bacteria congregating on your teeth surfaces. These bacteria can utilize food particles and saliva to form sticky plaque and cling to your teeth, keeping them safe from being washed away naturally by your saliva. Usually, a consistent and careful routine of brushing your teeth twice and flossing at least once every day can help control this buildup and prevent plaque from calcifying into much more dangerous tartar.

What happens if you miss it?

Plaque and tartar are different forms of the same substance. Tartar, also known as calculus, is the calcified form of plaque that develops if plaque remains on your teeth surfaces for more than a day or two. While good hygiene can help you clean away most plaque buildup, it’s natural to miss a spot or two every once in a while. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be brush and flossed away with dental hygiene tools, but must be cleaned away with professional equipment at your dentist’s office. For this reason, skipping checkup and cleaning appointments substantially raise your risks of developing oral health problems.

The best way to fight it

Because plaque and tartar are constant threats to your smile, being diligent and consistent with cleaning it away is the best way to fight them. This takes being strict in sticking to your dental hygiene routine and being sure to thoroughly clean your teeth and gum line, every time. It also means visiting your dentist as often as recommended for routine checkups and cleanings, and following your dentist’s recommendations for improving your hygiene or seeking appropriate dental treatment as soon as possible.

Learn more about fighting plaque buildup

Dental plaque develops on your teeth and gums every day, which is why the bacteria it harbors can be the greatest threat to your oral health. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS, today at 913-681-5500.