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Tooth Tourism Blog

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dental plaque

Dental plaque is a dull layer that regularly forms in between and on the surface of the teeth. Dental plaque is a biofilm that is made up of microorganisms such as streptococcus mutans and other bacteria. Dental plaque can develop on teeth above the gum line, below the gum line on the roots of teeth (sub gingival) and along the gum line (gingival).

How Does Plaque Form?

Dentists use the term 'acid attack' to summarize the causes of Dental plaque. After having a meal, snack or drink, the bacteria of the dental plaque start to convert sugar and carbohydrates of foods into acids. If the mouth environment becomes too acidic the acids start to dissolve the minerals of the tooth's surface creating microscopic lesions on tooth enamel weakening its structure. After all the sugars are consumed by the bacteria, acid production eventually stops and the tooth has a chance to repair itself helped by the minerals of saliva and toothpaste’s fluoride. If dental plaque is not removed regularly, or if sugar is consumed too often, then the demineralization periods are not enough to repair the damage. Eventually a small cavity appears on the tooth enamel. The continuous exposure of the tooth to acids is what causes Dental plaque.

How Can I Prevent Dental Plaque?

To prevent dental plaque, you can:
  • - Use prescription mouthwashes can help prevent decay
  • - Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • - Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner
  • - Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks
  • - Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams
  • - Reduce frequent consumption of sugars Reduce the number of times each day that you eat fermentable carbohydrates or drink sugary drinks. Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods.

How Can I Remove Dental Plaque?

Once your gums appear to be healthy with no swelling or redness, then brushing twice daily and proper daily flossing will break up the plaque that naturally accumulate on your teeth. Brushing with fluoride-based toothpaste will help to remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and floss or interdental cleaners will help to remove plaque between your teeth.

Need to find a dentist? Let do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)

Contact today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

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