You wake up in the morning and run your tongue over your teeth. They’re slippery and maybe even a little fuzzy. Gross!! You wonder if you’ve got bad “morning breath” and hastily book it to the sink to refresh your mouth with some minty toothpaste.
Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Everyone’s mouth feels like that in the morning. The culprit?
You guessed it: Dental plaque.
The Who’s Who of Plaque
If you’re like us at First Rank, you probably know that plaque is a bad guy, and that good oral hygiene is its kryptonite. But you may not have really delved into the world of plaque since your dental health unit back in elementary school.
So, here’s the rundown.
Plaque is that slippery or fuzzy layer that coats your teeth in the morning (or any other time you’ve gone a while without brushing). It is colourless or pale yellow and has two main components–bacteria and carbohydrates.
Now, the human mouth has a whole ecosystem of naturally thriving bacteria within it, so the bacteria are not a concern in and of themselves. But here’s the catch. When those bacteria encounter carbohydrates–aka sugary foods–they go to town feeding on them. And the byproduct? Acid.
Now you see the problem. Carbohydrates + Bacteria = Acid. And acid is definitely a problem for your teeth.
The Risks of Plaque
Aside from the ick factor, dental plaque truly causes plenty of trouble in your mouth. If it’s not removed regularly, it can harden into tartar, which must be removed by a dental professional. Plaque and tartar together contribute to issues such as:
- Gingivitis (gum disease)
- Severe gum infection
- Tooth decay and loss
- Tooth infection
- Chronic bad breath
And as if that isn’t enough, plaque is one of the leading causes of bad dad jokes such as:
“What award did the dentist win?”
“Oh, just a little plaque…”
But, seriously, plaque is no joke.
Plaque Be Gone!
We know this article has been a bit of a downer so far, so here’s the light at the end of the tunnel: Managing plaque is a piece of cake (but not literally).
The most important way to keep plaque at bay is good oral hygiene. This includes the following.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use gentle circular motions to flush plaque away from your gum line, and don’t forget to cleanse all surfaces.
Floss whenever you brush and consider rinsing afterward with a mouth wash.
Limiting sugary and starchy foods, especially as snacks in between meals, can dramatically reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth.
Regular Dental Check-ups
Visit your dentist at least twice each year to keep tartar under control and nip any other concerns in the bud.
At Kingsway Dental Centre, we are committed to making sure your whole family has healthy mouths. Whether your concern is plaque or any other dental issue, we are ready to help. Call Kingsway Dental Centre to book an appointment today!