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Tips for Preventing Plaque Buildup


In the past, it was popular belief that it was normal to lose your teeth with age, but now scientific research and modern dentistry have discovered that tooth loss isn’t an inevitable result of old age. In truth, when we take proper care of our teeth and gums, and see our dentist on a regular basis, it is possible to enjoy healthy teeth throughout our entire lives!

What is plaque and what does it do to our teeth? The mouth is full of invisible germs that not only stick to the teeth, but they are harmful substances that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If your gums are red, puffy or bleeding, beware: this could be the early signs of gum disease. If gum disease is left untreated, it can destroy the tissues that hold your teeth in place, thereby leading to tooth loss.

Dental Plaque is Difficult to See

It is not easy to see dental plaque with the naked eye. However, it can be seen if it’s stained. One way to see plaque is to purchase red “disclosing tablets” from a local drug or grocery store and to chew them. Another way is to take a Q-tip and put green food coloring on it. From there, you can smear the dyed cotton swab on your teeth and then the plaque will become visible.

If you want to keep an eye on your plaque buildup, you can stain your teeth red or green regularly following one of the above processes, and the stain will show you were it’s been left behind and where you need to brush to remove it.

Tips on preventing plaque:

  • Floss every day before going to bed
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year
  • Have your teeth examined by a dentist twice a year

Another way to gently remove plaque is to use a dental pick, which is made out of wood or plastic. You can purchase these in the toothbrush section of your local grocery store, drug store, or super store.

To schedule a free consultation with our Ventura County dentist, call (805) 295-8896 today!

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