- Published Date: 25 Feb 2022
- Updated Date: 21 Mar 2022
- Reading Time: 4 min
What is dental plaque? Plaque is one of the most common issues with oral health and can lead to things like gum disease and many other health problems. Luckily, plaque is quite easy to take prevent and remove, as long as you have good oral health habits.
Do you want to learn more about plaque on teeth, what causes it, and how you can prevent plaque on teeth with braces?
Keep reading this guide for everything you need to know about dental plaque.
What Is Plaque on Teeth?
The first step in getting rid of plaque on teeth is learning more about what plaque is and what causes it.
Plaque is a type of bacteria that causes a sticky film to form on your teeth. It is colourless and can often make your teeth feel fuzzy when you touch them with your tongue. Typically, plaque buildup is more noticeable when you do not brush your teeth or when you have poor oral hygiene habits.
Because plaque is a type of bacteria, you must find ways to prevent it to protect your overall health.
What Causes Plaque?
While plaque is caused by bacteria, there are certain types of foods that can cause plaque to develop faster. Plaque develops when the bacteria in your mouth interact with foods high in sugar or starch.
For example, things like fruit juices, soft drinks, fruit, and even bread can cause plaque to build up.
When you eat these foods, the bacteria in your mouth releases acids to help break down the carbohydrates in your food. The bacteria, acids, and carbohydrates mix to create the film that covers your teeth, also known as plaque.
Other habits can also cause increased plaque buildup, including smoking, dry mouth syndromes, and consuming excess sugary or starchy foods.
Why Is Plaque Harmful?
Plaque is not just something that makes your mouth feel gross. It can also cause many serious problems with your oral health.
When you have plaque, the bacteria in your mouth produce acids whenever you eat or drink. While teeth are quite strong, this acid can start to weaken your teeth and your tooth enamel. Without this hard layer of protection on your teeth, you may develop more cavities and other oral health conditions, like gum disease.
This is because plaque can also develop underneath your gums, leading to gingivitis plaque on teeth. As the bacteria builds up under your gums, it can damage the roots of your teeth and your jaw bone.
Finally, when left untreated, plaque becomes a worse problem. It starts to harden and it turns into a substance called tartar. This is much harder to remove and you will need help from your dentist to remove tartar.
Because of this, it is best to take care of plaque before it turns into something worse!
How To Get Rid of Plaque on Teeth?
To maintain a beautiful smile, it is important that you learn how to remove plaque on your teeth. One of the easiest ways you can avoid plaque buildup is by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, focusing on the areas where your gums and teeth come together.
Studies show that only half of Australians brush their teeth twice a day, so implementing this habit will help prevent permanent staining and oral diseases.
Similarly, you should always floss between each of your teeth at least once a day. This can help remove plaque before it hardens, but it also removes food particles from between your teeth. This will prevent more plaque from developing as the food interacts with the bacteria in your mouth.
If you are worried about bacteria buildup, you can also use an antibacterial rinse to help reduce the bacteria that cause plaque in your mouth.
Finally, you can do your best to limit the number of snacks you eat throughout the day. This will limit the amount of food you eat between brushing your teeth and can prevent plaque from building up in the first place. If you need a snack, eating a nutritious snack that is low in sugar and starch will also help prevent plaque.
Plaque and Braces
Unfortunately, plaque buildup on teeth is unavoidable when you have wire braces on your teeth. It is much easier for food to get stuck in metal braces and it is harder to clean your teeth effectively.
If you want straighter teeth but still want to avoid dental plaque, you can try straightening your teeth with clear aligners. These are clear trays that gradually shift your teeth into place and they can be removed when you eat.
With clear aligners, it is much easier to deal with plaque and prevent it from turning into tartar on your teeth. Still, it is important to note that you must keep your aligners clean to prevent bacteria and plaque from building up. This is why you must remove them when you eat, and you need to clean them at least one time each day.
Need Help Preventing Plaque on Teeth With Braces?
When you frequently have buildup on your teeth and you do not have good dental hygiene, it can lead to plaque buildup, which can cause other worse problems. Do you want help preventing black plaque on teeth with braces?
Smile Path can help! Our team provides direct to customer clear aligners that can help you get straighter teeth at home. Because our aligners are removable, you won’t have to worry about getting plaque buildup in your braces.
Contact our team to learn about our clear aligners and to get a free assessment.
Gum disease. (n.d.). Healthdirect. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/gum-disease
Australian Society of Orthodontists. (2021, August 27). 13 Facts About Oral Health. Orthodontics Australia. https://orthodonticsaustralia.org.au/oral-health-facts/