Plaque – we’ve all heard of it, but do you know what it is and what causes it? To help our patients better understand the science behind keeping their mouth’s healthy and clean, we’ve addressed some commonly asked questions:

  • What is plaque? Plaque is a buildup of bacteria on your teeth – it can feel filmy and soft. The buildup of plaque on your teeth from not brushing and flossing can cause tooth decay and gum disease. When plaque hardens, it turns into tartar which is difficult to remove.
  • What causes plaque? Plaque is formed when foods high in sugars and starches (i.e. milk, cake, soft drinks, candies) are left on your teeth. Bacterias from these foods produce acid. This acid eats away at the tooth enamel. When enamel is broken down, a cavity is developed.
  • How can you prevent it? The best way to remove plaque is to brush and floss daily. When you have your professional dental cleaning appointment, your dental team will also remove any plaque with special tools.

Dr. Frankel and Team want to make sure you know how to best take care of your teeth and prevent plaque from building up in between dental visits.

A healthy lifestyle that consists of healthy food choices and desserts in moderation will help prevent plaque from finding a home in your mouth. Make water your drink of choice — if you are unable to brush your teeth after a meal, rinse your mouth with water to help wash away some of the bacteria from your food.