Dental plaque is often overlooked by people as a minor issue which doesn’t need resolving.
As harmless as it may seem, accumulation of plaque can lead to more serious oral problems like cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, gingivitis and tooth loss.
Apart from a visible sticky film on the teeth, people suffering from plaque buildup might also experience symptoms like bad breath and tender gums.
You can incorporate a few oral hygiene practices in your daily routine to prevent dental plaque buildup.
Use Proper Brushing & Flossing Techniques
In order to get rid of dental plaque effectively, brushing for a few seconds every day is not enough.
You should spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth two times a day. Those quick 20-second scrubs are not going to clean your teeth properly.
Brush both your upper and lower teeth and against the gumline to remove trapped plaque or food bits. Don’t neglect the inner surfaces of your teeth which are very vulnerable to plaque buildup.
Keep your brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth and gently move it back and forth using tooth-wide strokes.
You can consider investing in an electric toothbrush if you are serious about maintaining plaque-free teeth. The vibrations of this brush allows for more micro-movements which will help in removing the more stubborn plaque hidden in your teeth.
Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months since worn out bristles won’t do a good job at cleaning your teeth.
While brushing is important, it is not enough to get rid of all the food particles which are stuck between your teeth.
Flossing is the only way to reach those areas which is why all dental professionals recommend people to floss for a few minutes before brushing.
One of the best ways to know whether you have brushed or flossed enough is by using teeth disclosing tablets, also known as plaque highlighters.
These tablets once chewed help highlight the areas in your teeth which still have plaque residue.
Smile Brilliant uses the best Plaque Highlighter technology in their tablets to clearly identify these areas with pink dye. This allows easy identification and more effective brushing for plaque removal.
It even has dedicated Plaque Highlighters for kids which will help them improve their brushing techniques.
Watch Your Diet
Limit the amount of sugary and starchy food you consume on a daily basis.
The sugar molecules present in sweet foods react with the saliva and bacteria in your mouth to form plaque which accumulates on your teeth.
On the other hand, starchy foods and snacks release harmful acids which are not good for oral health.
Rinse your mouth properly after each meal and avoid snacking too much in between.
Use Tartar Control Toothpaste
Tartar control toothpaste contains anti-calculus agents which help delay the calcification of plaque on your teeth.
Plaque once calcified, is hard to remove so this delay enables you to remove it more easily.
This toothpaste also contains other compounds like abrasives and pyrophosphate which helps in removing the bacteria responsible for plaque formation.
Brush With Baking Soda
Several studies have shown that brushing with baking soda is a harmless and effective way to remove plaque.
It helps neutralise the acidic environment in your teeth since it has a high pH level. This in turn will protect against demineralization which occurs due to high acidic levels in your mouth.
You can add a little baking soda to your toothpaste next time you brush your teeth.
While oil pulling does not directly remove plaque buildup, it helps by killing the harmful bacteria responsible for plaque formation.
Rinsing your mouth with oils like coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil for 15-20 minutes daily can improve oral health.
Oil pulling also has other benefits like preventing cavities, combating bad breath and improving gum health.
Healthy oral habits can control plaque buildup before it becomes too severe and if it does, you will have to go to the dentist for a professional cleanup. You can always consult a dentist if your dental plaque doesn’t seem to go away.