Have you ever noticed that your teeth feel a little…well, fuzzy at the end of the day? What you’re feeling isn’t fuzz, of course, but plaque. You may have heard your dentist talk about plaque before, but do you know what it is?
Plaque is a sticky biofilm made up of hundreds and hundreds of naturally-occurring bacteria. These bacteria feed on the food we put in our mouths, and they especially love foods high in sugar or other carbohydrates. As these bacteria feed on these particles, they create an acidic byproduct that damages tooth enamel, resulting in cavities.
So, given how destructive plaque, bacteria, and this acidic byproduct can be, you may be wondering what you can do to keep it in check. Below are eight tips for managing and getting rid of plaque.
Brush at least twice a day, but if possible, after every meal.
Floss at least once a day. Flossing will help you remove pieces of food or particle of plaque from beyond teeth, where they can contribute to decay.
Consider adding an antibacterial mouthwash to your at-home oral health regimen. Reducing the amount of bacteria from your mouth will reduce your vulnerability to decay. A fluoride mouthwash can also help you strength your tooth enamel.
Chew sugarless gum after and in between meals. Gum helps remove particles of food from between teeth and stimulates the production of saliva, which neutralizes acid.
Reduce the amount of sweet or starchy foods you consume. Even a natural snack like raisins can be problematic.
Avoid smoking or any kind of tobacco use. Besides being bad for your health, smokers routinely have higher amounts of hardened plaque.
Make regular checkups and cleanings with your local dentist a priority. A cleaning by a professional hygienist will help you get rid of plaque in places that are hard to reach with normal brushing and flossing.
Dental sealants protect the chewing surfaces of teeth from bacteria and plaque with a thin layer of plastic. This effective option works especially well for back teeth and may help children who are more vulnerable to decay.
Do you have questions about plaque or how to prevent it? Has it been more than six months since your last checkup or cleaning? Call the Harrow Dental Centre today for an appointment on 020 84272543 or contact us via our website www.harrow-dentist.com
with acknowledgements to Best Dentist News
When you think about oral health, you probably think about your gums and your teeth. After all, Americans spend about $1.8 billion on toothpaste and $775 million on toothbrushes. We’re serious about our oral hygiene habits! (And it appears we put our money where our mouths are, too!)
So, when you consider your dental wellbeing, do you think about … saliva? Most people don’t think about the role saliva plays into dental care , and how important it is for maintaining excellent oral health. It’s true! Saliva is a necessary component in preventing cavities. It clears away bacteria that cling to your gums and enamel and cause disease and infection.
Saliva is produced by … wait for it … your salivary glands, and it’s made up of 99.5% water. Big surprise, right? So, what’s the other .5%? Believe it or not, that teeny tiny part of saliva is comprise of several components, including electrolytes, mucus, glycoproteins, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds. Now, you know why saliva is the first step in the digestion process! It helps lubricate your food, making it easier to chew and swallow. Saliva also enhances your taste, not to mention your motor functions, which helps you to talk.
From a dental perspective, saliva helps break down the food particles that lodge in and around your teeth, and protects your enamel from bacterial decay. In addition, saliva actually remineralizes your teeth, using calcium and phosphates. If you stimulate your salivary glands by chewing sugar-free gum (or just eating anything, really), then the saliva produced actually has more of the good stuff in it—and is more effective in buffering that bacteria and keeps those pearly whites mineralized.
So, what happens if there’s a reduction in your saliva production? The less saliva you produce, the higher the risk of decay. It also makes eating and talking more difficult. Some medications and conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause saliva deficiencies, which can negatively impact your oral health. The reduction of saliva is called xerostomia—or dry mouth. Dry mouth also occurs as the result of aging or changes in hormones.
If you’re suffering from dry mouth, make an appointment with your dentist. At the Harrow Dental Centre we can diagnose the problem and get you treated. Remember, saliva is a very important part of your oral health!.
If you have any questions or comment please contact us on +44 2084272543 or via our web site
With acknowledgements to Best Dentist News