Is Brushing Enough to Prevent Plaque Buildup?

daughter and dad brushing their teeth

The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice daily for at least two minutes every time. Also, use fluoride toothpaste. Brushing teeth helps ensure that the microbes that attach to your mouth do not build up. Left alone, these microbes form plaque. If not dealt with, plaque will damage your pearly whites.


What Is Plaque?


Plaque is a biofilm that forms on your teeth every day. Every morning when you wake up, or at the end of the day, you will find it in your mouth. It is sticky, slippery, and consists of a community of microbes. The microbes attach to surfaces in your mouth and multiply to form thriving microcolonies. When you do not remove plaque properly, it absorbs minerals from your saliva and forms tartar. The best way to get rid of tartar is to visit a dentist for thorough teeth cleaning.


Prevention of Plaque 


This community of microbes that forms plaque releases acid when they feed on the sugars in your mouth. This acid then settles on the enamel, eating into it and causing tooth decay and dental cavities.


It can also cause gum disease, gingivitis, and abscesses in your mouth. The best way to remove plaque is by brushing and flossing. However, how you brush your teeth and what you use to do so matters.


Brushing With Toothpaste Containing Baking Soda


One of the studies from 2019 shows that toothpaste containing baking soda is great for brushing. It helps eliminate plaque and protects against demineralization. Demineralization is a process that removes calcium from the enamel. Carbs from food create an acidic environment in the mouth. This acidic environment causes demineralization. Baking soda neutralizes the acidic environment, preventing the process.


Use Mouthwash


It is good to swish your mouth after brushing and flossing. However, you also need to be careful about the kind of mouthwash you use. This is because they have many different ingredients, some of which are unhealthy. Chlorhexidine (CHX) is one of those unhealthy ingredients. Although it is effective in fighting plaque, it stains teeth and causes tartar buildup. 


A probiotic, salt and warm water, or herbal rinse may be something you may want to consider. Also, check the products in your rinse; if they contain essential oils, then you are good to go. Just eliminate those with harsh ingredients.


Add Cranberries to Your Diet


Your mouth is home to a diverse ecosystem. One of the bacteria found in your mouth, Streptococcus mutans, is what causes tooth decay. Cranberries have polyphenols that fight these bacteria and others like them.


Use an Electric Toothbrush


Studies show that electric toothbrushes are more effective in the prevention and elimination of plaque. Thus, more dentists are recommending the use of such devices. Brushing may not help you prevent plaque buildup. But when you incorporate the recommendations above, you will be a step ahead. Take good care of your pearly whites.


For more information on plaque and oral hygiene or to schedule an appointment, call Marietta Smile Gallery in Marietta, Georgia at (770) 809-1500 today.