What is plaque?

Plague illustration

Most people have heard of the word “plaque,” and know it’s not something you want on your teeth. Yet, they don’t know what exactly plaque is or how it contributes to dental decay.

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that lives on the surface of your teeth and along the gumline. It accumulates from normal daily activities such as eating and drinking, especially if you’ve been consuming a lot of sugars and starches.

Ever had that fuzzy feeling on your teeth that goes away after you give them a good brush?

Yep, that’s plaque.

Plaque is what contributes to dental decay, as bacteria like to consume the sugars in your mouth and excrete acids that wear away at your tooth enamel.

When you don’t regularly brush and floss away plaque, it forms tartar. Tartar is the calcified substance on your teeth that only a professional cleaning can remove. 

To regularly remove plaque:
1. Brush thoroughly with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
2. Floss at least once a day to remove plaque that your brush can’t reach.
3. Visit us for your regular dental cleanings.

We are open and with two-hygienists, we should be able to get you in soon for your cleaning. If you are due or overdue, please give us a call at 520-744-7388 or book your appointment online. Usually, we can give you alternative dates if you can't find something soon. Click on the links at the top of our website to make appointments, contact us, read about our health and safety procedures, and more. 

Author
Dr. Engle riding in the desert Dr. Engle Dentist and owner of Presidio Dental

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