Friday, July 6, 2018

Five Ways to Prevent Plaque

Plaque buildup is a major cause of cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health issues. This sticky film coats the teeth and can eventually eat away at the enamel, allowing bacteria to grow. Fortunately, preventive oral health measures can keep plaque from accumulating on the teeth, stopping dental problems before they start. Here are five tips to try.

1. Brush Correctly at Least Twice a Day 
A person flossing their teeth

Ideally, brush after every meal to remove plaque immediately. Before bed is the most important time to brush. Otherwise, plaque will remain on the teeth all night. Hold a soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. An electric toothbrush is the most effective type. Use gentle, circular strokes to cover all surfaces of the teeth as well as the tongue. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

2. Floss Regularly

Cleaning between the teeth is just as important as removing plaque from their surfaces. This should be done at least once a day, whether with traditional floss, water flosser, or a dental pick.

3. Use Antibacterial Mouthwash

Rinsing the mouth with a bacteria-killing mouthwash formula can reduce plaque accumulation. It can also loosen plaque deposits, making them easier to remove with a toothbrush or floss. Avoid mouthwash with alcohol, which can dry out the mouth and actually contribute to plaque development.

4. Avoid Starchy and Sugary Foods

These items promote bacterial growth, which accelerates tooth decay. Acidic foods can also cause issues. Items to restrict include potato chips, bread, alcohol, sticky candy, and soda and other carbonated beverages. After eating these items, drink lots of water to rinse the teeth clean.

5. Keep up With Checkups

Seeing the dentist regularly for a deep clean can help keep plaque buildup at bay. For best results, have a checkup every six months. This cleaning will remove plaque from areas that are difficult to access with a toothbrush and floss alone, such as the second molars. The dentist can also diagnose and treat oral health issues before they develop into major problems.

Those who need a new dentist can schedule an appointment with Hanson Dentistry in the Independence area. Dr. Hanson truly cares about his patients and provides a modern office setting with comprehensive care, including cosmetic treatments and new dental technologies. He has been serving families in the community since 1974.

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