Plaque – that sticky film that can easily form on your teeth – can cause a lot of damage. However, it can also be easy to control, by taking care of your teeth at home and, of course, visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning so that serious problems don’t emerge. Here are some plaque facts, as well as some tips on getting rid of it!
What is plaque?
Plaque forms when bacteria in your mouth mixes with sugary or starchy food. The bacteria releases acids, which combine with the carbohydrates in the foods you eat, forming plaque that attaches to your teeth. When plaque builds up on teeth it becomes tartar, which hardens on teeth and can only be removed by a dentist. Tartar can lead to bad breath, cavities, gum disease, gum infection, and tooth decay, infection, and loss.
How can you get rid of plaque?
A thorough flossing and tooth brushing that lasts at least 2 minutes is the best way to fight plaque. Brushing after every meal is best, and wait half an hour after eating before brushing. Here are a few other ways to keep your teeth free of plaque:
- Use tartar control toothpaste.
- Eat lots of fruits and veggies, which are natural ways to remove plaque.
- Eat figs! Surprisingly, figs are great for removing plaque.
- Enjoy some spicy food. Experts say that spicy food increases saliva, which helps to wash plaque off of teeth.
- Try gargling a mixture of two tablespoons of vinegar, four ounces of water, and one tablespoon of salt. Repeat every 2 to 3 days. It may not be the best tasting concoction, but it is effective and natural.
- Indulge in your love for cheese. Aged cheeses help to neutralize acids that can accumulate on teeth.
Even when you floss, brush, and take care of your teeth in other ways, plaque and tartar can still find a way to stick around. That’s why it’s important to visit your dentist at least twice a year (or whenever you have a problem) for a thorough cleaning. Call Dr. Samuel Jirik’s office in Cabot, Arkansas, at (501) 843-9561 today!