You lock your doors to keep unwanted people out of your home. You take medicine that the doctor prescribes when you are ill in order to get well. You show up day in and day out for work to guarantee that you receive a paycheck at the end of each month. You do these things to ensure that you are taking care of what matters, right? Well, what exactly are you doing to take care of your oral health? If your only answer is that you brush your teeth [usually] twice a day, then the fact is: you are not doing enough.
Plaque is your mouth’s worst enemy, and it develops inside your mouth at an alarming rate every single day. If you have ever run your tongue over your teeth at the end of a day and felt a “fuzzy” coating on your teeth, then you know exactly what plaque feels like. That gross white stuff that flings across the bathroom and hits your mirror when you [occasionally] floss – yup, that is plaque.
Plaque is laden with damaging, acid-producing bacteria that cause significant harm to the mouth when they are allowed to linger on the teeth and at the gum line. Plaque is the main cause of cavities and gum disease, and the ultimate environment for plaque to thrive is inside your warm, moist mouth. Gross, huh?
Dental plaque is a sticky substance that is not easily removed by rinsing or even brushing. If you are not flossing your teeth once every day, then you are allowing plaque to build up and assault your oral health. This is not an overstatement. Millions of bacteria call your mouth their home, and they congregate in patches around sugars and food particles that are left behind after you eat and drink. As the bacteria congregate, they begin producing acids and cause a chemical reaction to occur that produces the white, sticky substance we know as dental plaque. It is during the chemical reaction that plaque begins to eat away at the gum tissue and tooth enamel, causing destruction in the forms of cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
Flossing is the only tool specifically designed to scrape away plaque from the teeth and gum line. Flossing is also the only way to prevent extreme scraping at your next dental visit, so there is definitely a point of advantage for those with any dental phobia.
At Group Health Dental, we encourage you to floss your teeth daily, brush at least twice a day, and maintain a healthy diet. Plaque is your mouth’s worst enemy, but with proper oral health care, it can be kept at a manageable level so that it does not destroy your smile.