Plaque is a thick, dangerous substance that builds up throughout the body and causes damage to certain functions. Many people associate plaque with heart disease because as it accumulates in the arteries it prevents blood from flowing to and from the heart. Another type of plaque occurs within the mouth, known as dental plaque. Dental plaque causes damage, decay, and diseases within the mouth that can affect other areas of the body. Dental plaque has been known to have direct links to diabetes and heart disease, making it essential that you take it seriously and understand how to prevent it.
Dental plaque accumulates throughout the mouth on a daily basis. On any given day, there are millions of bacteria living inside your mouth. These bacteria are present in order to help break down the tiny particles left behind after you eat and drink anything other than water. As these bacteria go to work breaking down food and beverage particles, they begin producing acids to assist them. This is where the damage begins. As with all acids, the acids produced inside the mouth are incredibly corrosive and will eat their way through whatever is in their path. Of course, inside your mouth, this is your tooth enamel and gum tissue. This is why protecting your teeth from plaque is so important to your dental health.
If you have ever run your tongue over your teeth at the end of the day and felt a “fuzzy” film along your gum line or across your teeth, then you have experienced dental plaque firsthand. Dental plaque accumulates inside the mouth very quickly, making it imperative that you remove it from your mouth on a daily basis. The most effective way to do this is through dental flossing, yet flossing is the most neglected form of oral hygiene in the United States alone. Floss is the only tool designed to remove plaque from the teeth. It easily slides underneath dental plaque and scrapes it away from the teeth and gum line. A toothbrush is not designed to do this, so assuming that brushing your teeth twice a day is enough will only get you into trouble. At Huebner Smiles, we want to partner with you to achieve and maintain optimal oral health. We are passionate about helping patients understand the importance of flossing and teaching them how to properly do it. Contact our practice to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning, and we will work one-on-one with you to learn the correct method of flossing in order to protect your teeth.