While a visit to your dentist have you ever been questioned about flossing your teeth at least once a day? You might wonder the link between dental health and flossing. The reason behind the question is the plaque. Plaque is a thin layer which appears on and in between the teeth. This layer is made up of hundreds and thousands of bacteria and can damage teeth beyond you have thought. These bacteria feed and eat upon the food that we take. Though everyone can develop plaque it more often develops among people who take a lot of sugar and starch in their food. This usually includes sweets, bread, and drinks that contain soda. Though it is very common, sometimes if not catered on time can cause serious oral health problems including bacterial infections, cavities, and sore gums.
What is plaque?
Plaque is basically a thin film or a layer that is made up of countless bacteria that live in our mouth.Some of them are good and does not cause harm to our teeth. They are important for food breakdown. While on the other hand, some may cause the development of plaque. Initially bacteria that are not causing harm to the teeth usually multiply and start accumulating together. This gives rise to the formation of plaque. The layer may develop on the surface of the teeth only or even in between the teeth as well. This layer is known as a biofilm. That’s why brushing and flossing your teeth on daily basis is necessary as plaque develops every time we eat something, especially sugar or starch. This also prevents it from hardening and other serious issues.
If the plaque is not removed daily, it may become hard and difficult to remove. This is called tartar or calculus. Tartar is a hard yellow colored layer that covers the gum from above and below. This condition may lead to a lot of gum diseases. This hard layer cannot be removed simply by flossing or brushing. It requires your dentist to help remove it through special equipment. Tartar might also give rise to bleeding and swollen gums, bad breath, and bacterial infections. Sometimes this cause a chronic condition called gingivitis. It is characterized by painful swollen red or sometimes purple gums. This, in turn, develops into a more serious gums problem if not handled with care. The condition is called periodontitis.
Plaque also damages enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. Once enamel is damaged or cracked, it can never be repaired naturally or artificially. Damaged plaque can result in hot and cold sensations in the teeth, and shooting pains.
Plaque affecting Teeth
Gums protect teeth from damage and keep them at the right place. Formation of plaque gives rise to irritation, bleeding, and inflammation in the gums. This condition is called gingivitis. It may also be caused by other factors such as smoking and side effects of certain medicines. Brushing your teeth twice a day and maintaining good oral hygiene can reverse the condition.
Sometimes when gingivitis is not treated on time may turn into a more chronic and serious condition called periodontitis. This is not easily treatable as this causes damage to the underlying bone and connective tissues. This, in turn, results in falling off your teeth. Other causes of periodontitis include hormonal changes, diabetes and different types of cancers as well. Periodontitis is not as easy to treat as other conditions because it involves proper dental consultations with your dentist.
Plaque affecting physical health
Surprisingly gums problems can cause damage to your health way too then you have thought. These problems not only damage your oral health but also affect physical health in many ways. Studies have shown that gums problems are highly linked with an elevated risk of heart diseases, diabetes, strokes, cancer, premature birth and low birth weight in pregnant women.
How plaque can be prevented?
Unluckily there is no way to prevent plaque completely as there are thousands of bacteria present in the mouth for food breakdown all the time. Hence it is better to reduce the risk of developing it faster and turning it hard into tartar by following good oral hygiene. Brushing teeth regularly with an electronic brush, flossing and avoiding sugary and starchy food can be helpful in preventing damage. While on the other following and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also be a good preventive measure.
Methods for brushing teeth properly
If you are brushing your teeth for about 2 minutes cleaning all the areas properly you can prevent many oral health problems.
Manual toothbrushes can be very effective in cleaning all the plaque if used properly. Hence you must be very cautious while buying a toothbrush. Always prefer a brush with soft bristles which can bend easily reaching possibly all the areas of the mouth. You must be aware of proper brushing technique. Place the brush at 45 degrees to the gum line and move the brush too and fro attending to each tooth. Brush back and front of teeth covering all the areas of the mouth. Also not to forget to brush your tongue so that all the bacteria should be removed from there as well. Keep brushing like this for at least good 2 minutes.
Electronic toothbrushes are too easy to use. There are commonly two kinds of electronic brushes i.e. Sonic and oscillating. Sonic makes way too faster strokes than that of oscillating. Hence this removes plaque and dirt from teeth more than the other one due to its faster strokes. You can choose your electronic brush on your dentist’s recommendations.
Flossing can be another way to prevent and reduce plaque. You can regular floss or use water floss for this purpose. Both methods can be useful in dealing with the plaque and other oral health problems.If you want to know more about the water flosser, kindly have a look at our best water flosser Reviews.
Even if you brush your teeth twice and floss daily yet you need to visit your dentist regularly. Follow and maintain dental hygiene. Eat proper diet including green leafy vegetables, lesser sugar and starch food items. Treat your oral health problems on time preventing more loss.