This is a sticky film that forms everyday on your teeth; you know that slippery fuzzy coating you feel when you wake up in the morning. Scientists refer to plaque as a ‘biofilm’ because it is essentially a culture covered by a gluey polymer coating of living microbes. The sticky coating allows the microbes to adhere in your mouth to surfaces so that they can grow into living micro-colonies.
The difference between tartar and plaque is that if plaque is not extracted on a regular basis, it can absorb minerals from your saliva and harden into an off-white or yellow material called tartar when plaque is not regularly extracted.
Tartar builds up on the fronts and backs of the teeth around the gum line. While some tartar accumulation can be dislodged by careful flossing, you will still need to visit a dentist to get rid of all it.
SO WHAT DOES PLAQUE CAUSE?
Your mouth is an ecosystem which is flourishing. When you feed, drink and breathe, bacteria and other species come in.
So how does plaque get diagnosed?
A plaque is most frequently colorless or light yellow. During an oral examination, a dentist will detect plaque on your teeth using a tiny mirror.
HOW THEN DO WE TREAT PLAQUE?
By brushing and flossing your teeth regularly with a soft-bristled toothbrush you can remove plaque. Electric toothbrushes are recommended by certain dentists because they are thought to be more effective in removing plaque.
Recent studies analysis on plaque found out that a safe way to get rid of plaque is to use a toothpaste containing baking soda.
A dental professional may have to remove plaque that has hardened into tartar. When you have a routine dental checkup and cleaning, your dentist or oral hygienist will remove it. Because tartar can grow in difficult to reach areas, it is very important to visit a dentist twice a year to keep it under control.
HOW TO STOP PLAQUE
- Practice proper oral hygiene
- The most effective thing you can do to prevent the bacteria in plaque from destroying your teeth and gums is brush your teeth twice daily and after eating sugary food. The American Dental Association advise that you brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day
- Try the method suggested here to learn an efficient technique for removing plaque as you brush
As plaque can grow in the tight spaces between teeth, it is also very important to floss and to visit the dentist regularly
- Find a mouth rinse product when you rinse and floss, to get at the bacteria between your teeth. Recent studies have concluded that plaque is substantially decreased when mouth rinses are used along with brushing and flossing.
Pharm. Fatima Ajide J. is a current pharmacology student at Olabisi Onabanjo University.
She has a passion in researching about the interaction between organs and drugs (i. e. the Pharmacodynamic and Pharmacokinetics).
A practicing Muslim and hobbies are tourism, reading and Research.