Preventing Plaque Buildup on Teeth After Dental Cleanings

Dental checkups are a great way to ensure that your teeth and gums are staying healthy. They allow your dental hygienist to take a look at your oral health and measure whether or not you need dental treatments. But, dental checkups are also a means to maintain the health of your teeth and gums as dental cleanings are done during these checkups. These cleanings help to remove plaque buildup on teeth that can lead to tooth decay and other dental health problems. But, what can patients do in between dental checkups and cleanings to keep plaque from building up on their teeth?

First Thing’s First – What is Plaque?

Bacteria builds up in the mouth and creates a sticky layer known as a biofilm. This soft film in the mouth is known as plaque. It occurs in normal healthy mouths but with frequent cleanings and proper home care, its levels can be kept under control. If plaque is not properly cleaned in a timely manner it can lead to inflammation and subsequent dental issues like tooth decay, discomfort, tooth mobility, recession, and gum/bone infection.
Here are some ways to prevent plaque buildup on teeth and gums in between professional dental cleanings:

Brushing Your Teeth Everyday

One of the best ways to remove plaque on a daily basis is to brush your teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that we brush our teeth at least twice a day. When we don’t brush our teeth daily and consistently, this gives plaque the opportunity to build up. This can lead to a hardening of the plaque that creates a harder to remove substance known as tartar(aka calculus). So, brushing helps to prevent tartar by removing plaque on a daily and frequent basis.

Floss Between Your Teeth Every Day

Brushing isn’t enough to remove all of the plaque between your teeth and your gums. Certainly, brushing helps to remove plaque on the surface of your teeth. But, plaque can also get in between teeth and even into the gumline. Flossing is what helps to remove the plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. You should be flossing every day during your dental cleaning routine. But, it’s important to remember to floss before you brush. This way, you can remove what flossing brings out of your teeth with your toothbrush and allow the active ingredients in your toothpaste to get into the newly cleaned sites!

Eat Healthy Foods That are Good For Dental Health

One of the best things you can do for your dental health is to keep the saliva flowing. Saliva is important for keeping your mouth from drying up, which causes a breeding ground for bacteria. So, eating foods that allow for proper saliva development is crucial to keeping the mouth from drying up. The best way to do this is to eat foods that can help to stimulate saliva development. These types of foods include fruits and vegetables. So, for better dental health and less bacteria that leads to plaque, don’t forget to eat your fair share of fruits and veggies.

Stay Away From Foods That are Not as Good for Dental Health

Sugar feeds bacteria that leads to the development of plaque. So, it’s important to limit food and drinks with a lot of sugar. It’s not just candy that you need to be wary of. High carb items like pretzels, crackers, cookies, etc. may also increase plaque levels. But, if you do eat or drink sugary foods and beverages, make it a practice to rinse, floss, and brush afterward.

Getting Your Dental Cleanings and Checkups at Riverbend Family Dentistry

Finally, the best thing you can do to prevent plaque buildup is to get your dental checkups that include professional dental cleanings. These cleanings are imperative to check on your dental health and remove plaque and tartar buildup to prevent any dental problems in the future. This will help to remove plaque that you’re not removing with your daily brushing and flossing.

Looking for a dental hygienist for your dental cleanings in Jupiter, FL? Riverbend Family Dentistry has an amazing team of providers including some of the most honest, caring, and friendliest hygienists around.