Regardless of your diet or grooming habits, bacteria can live in your mouth in the form of plaque which can cause cavities and gingivitis. Keeping your mouth and your teeth clean is the best way to fight plaque and other harmful bacteria which can cause bad breath. If you’ve got a great smile, oral hygiene is essential to maintain those pearly-whites and healthy gums.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that accumulates on your teeth and in-between your teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Sugary foods are obvious sources for plaque but starches like bread, cereal and potato chips can also lead to plaque build-up and bacteria which can irritate your gums. Keep in mind, many of these snack foods and even “healthy” cereals contain high levels of sugar and other sweeteners.
How to Remove Plaque
To remove plaque and prevent build-up, we recommend brushing twice a day and flossing at least once – especially if you’ve eaten any foods like popcorn, candy or corn on the cob. A soft-bristled brush is best and be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps protect your teeth from decay and flossing helps to prevent gum disease. It’s also a good idea to brush your tongue for a few seconds to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. For extra fresh breath, an antimicrobial mouth rinse can help reduce any lingering plaque or bacteria.
If you have any questions about your oral hygiene routine or desire a whiter smile, talk to one of our knowledgeable hygienists or ask about our Opalescence home whitening treatments.