Ever since you were a child, you've been taught that plaque is the enemy of the teeth. And it's true. Plaque buildup on your pearls can cause a multitude of oral health problems, the worst of which is tooth loss. You've also been taught since that time that brushing and flossing are your best defense against it. So are you devoted to these dental hygiene habits? Neglecting these and engaging in other plaque-building habits can surely take a toll on your oral health. Here are the top plaque-building habits that you should get rid of today.
Not Brushing Regularly
Brushing the teeth regularly is the best way to avoid plaque buildup on the surfaces of your teeth. It's not enough that you brush once a day. It's a must that you brush twice daily. No one will notice the difference but you and your teeth will. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove the plaque on the teeth more easily. Don't brush too aggressively. Some people make the mistake of brushing their teeth aggressively because they think it's the best way to remove the food particles and bacteria that turn into plaque. That's a misconception as this will only irritate the gums. The best way is to get a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth gently at least twice a day.
Not Flossing Everyday
Brushing cleans the surfaces of the teeth but it cannot reach the spaces in between. If you look closely at your teeth, you'll see that plaque can build in between these spaces. Flossing everyday at least once can remove plaque before they harden and become hard to remove. Flossing is also great for removing the plaque stored in the gum line. If left untreated, the plaque along the gum line can result in gum disease. If you're not fond of flossing your teeth for whatever reason you may have, it's good to know that there are many ADA-approved products that are designed to clean in between the teeth. These products are widely available in drugstores and supermarkets. Consult your dentist to find out the product that he/she recommends.
Not Seeing the Dentist
How often do you see the dentist? Once in a billion years? Even if you're able to brush and floss your teeth everyday, there would still be some plaque that you'll miss. Over time, this can harden into tartar and you won't be able to remove it yourself. The rule of the thumb is to go to the dentist at least once a year. Twice a year of professional cleaning is of course better.
Not Eating Healthy
Did you know that certain foods can help in keeping plaque away? Crunchy and fibrous vegetables and fruits are dubbed as "nature's toothbrush" as they can scrub away plaque when you eat them. Good examples are:
Even though they contain sugar, they are still friendly to the teeth. It's best to stay away from other sweet treats like candy and sugary drinks. Bacteria inside the mouth thrive on the simple carbohydrates like sugar that come from these foods and drinks. All sugary treats contribute to the formation of plaque.