Keep Plaque From Destroying Your Teeth
Plaque is a sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease if not removed. Plaque left on teeth will harden over time into tartar and this is the stuff the dental hygienist scrapes off your teeth at your twice yearly dental cleanings.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Keeping plaque to a minimum gives you easier cleanings and fewer cavities and other oral problems. When you eat any sugary food including fruit, pastries, pasta, donuts, desserts, bread, and other high carbohydrate foods you are promoting plaque buildup. Carbohydrates turn to sugar when they are digested and the digestion process starts with saliva in the mouth.
Brush and Floss Frequently
The easiest way to counteract the effects of sugar consumption and cut down on the amount of plaque that forms is to brush and floss after every meal. It is especially important to do this before bed because the bacteria in your mouth have all night to build up plaque that turns into tartar if you don’t brush.
Get Tartar Removed
As tartar builds up, it hardens and can push into the gums, causing inflammation and gum disease. The gum tissue becomes red, swollen and possibly bleeds when you brush your teeth. If the tartar is not removed on a regular basis, your gums may begin to recede, pulling back from your teeth and ultimately causing bone loss.
Visit Your Dentist at Least Twice a Year
A woman I know didn’t think dental checkups were necessary and didn’t see a dentist for six years. When her daughter found out about it she insisted the mother go to a dentist. It took two very long and painful sessions to clean all the plaque off her teeth and treat the gum disease. So, make your twice yearly dental visits a priority and be sure to call your dentist right away if you have any sensitive or painful teeth or you notice bleeding gums.