The main cause of tooth decay and gum disease, two of the worst dental conditions, is dental plaque. Not long after you finish eating, oral bacteria combine with food debris and damaging acids to form dental plaque. By brushing and flossing properly morning and night, you can remove plaque.
Plaque forms in many locations throughout your mouth. Knowing the most common areas where dental plaque forms can help you to target those areas during oral hygiene sessions.
1. Your tongue
Plaque is usually difficult to see when it forms on teeth. This is because plaque tends to range in colour from white to yellow and is difficult to see. But one place where you can easily see plaque is on your tongue. Pits and bumps cover the surface of your tongue. Plaque sticks to these areas, allowing bacteria to multiply and thrive. Your tongue will appear white or yellow if covered in dental plaque.
Take time to brush your tongue with a toothbrush gently morning and night.
2. Your molars
You do most of your chewing with your molars, especially when chewing tough foods like vegetables and meat. This means your molars are a prime location for dental plaque to form. The large amount of food debris attracts more bacteria, leading to dental plaque formation. Removing all plaque from molars can be difficult. Be sure to spend a little more time brushing your molars to remove plaque.
3. Between your teeth
Plaque forms on all surfaces of teeth. But one area that is hard to reach is between the teeth. Bacteria can easily hide between teeth, safe in dental plaque that has built up there. The best way to remove plaque from between your teeth is to use floss morning and night.
4. Along the gum line
Another place that often accumulates plaque is the gum line. Some people miss the gum line when brushing their teeth since they use a saw-like motion from side to side. This motion misses the gum line and allows dental plaque to accumulate. Plaque damages gum tissue over time and can even spread below the gum line.
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush your upper and lower teeth — including the gum line — using a circular motion. This will ensure you remove the dental plaque from along the gum line. This brushing technique will also help to prevent gum disease.
To keep your mouth smelling fresh and free of gum disease and dental decay, remember these common places for plaque formation.
Contact your dentist to learn more.