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Why Plaque Is a Bigger Threat than You Thought

When you brush and floss your teeth every day, your main goal is to remove the harmful plaque that builds up on your teeth every day. Doing so is natural, but not everyone realizes exactly what plaque buildup could mean if they don’t clean it away every day. When patients visit our Oxnard, CA, dental office, prevention is often the most important focus of their treatment. That includes educating everyone about the true nature and threat of excessive plaque, and the best methods for controlling it at home between their routine checkups and cleanings.

What’s in dental plaque?
Dental plaque is mostly a combination of oral bacteria and food particles. Oral bacteria build the biofilm to cling to your teeth surfaces, as well as to protect them from your mouth’s natural defense mechanisms (like saliva). When enough bacteria accumulate, they consume the nutrients in lingering food particles and convert them into harmful substances, like acids and toxins. These substances actively attack your tooth enamel and gum tissues, leading to the development of chronic issues like tooth decay and gum disease. However, these effects can be limited or even prevented by successfully removing plaque from your teeth every day.

Why plaque buildup matters
When you do keep your teeth consistently clean of plaque and oral bacteria, you have a much better chance at preventing chronic dental concerns. However, the buildup of plaque becomes even more dangerous once it calcifies (hardens) into tartar. Unlike plaque, calcified tartar cannot be removed with your toothpaste and water, making it a much more effective protective barrier for harmful bacteria. While tartar is impervious to your daily hygiene routine, your dentist or hygienist can carefully remove it during your routine dental checkup and cleaning appointments.

What can you do about it?
Because plaque can quietly calcify in spots that you might not realize, it’s important to schedule and attend a checkup and cleaning appointment at least once every six months. This will increase your chances of removing tartar before bacteria have a chance to damage your teeth and gums. You can also reduce tartar development by sticking to an excellent hygiene routine between visits, including brushing and flossing every day as well as limiting unhealthy eating habits (like indulging on sugar).

Defeat plaque and protect your smile
It’s no secret that removing plaque is the main point of your dental hygiene routine, but you may not realize the extent of trouble that plaque can cause if you allow it to remain long enough. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Oxnard Dentistry in Oxnard, CA, today at (805) 604-9999. We also proudly serve patients from in and around Camarillo, Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Moore Park, and all surrounding communities.

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