A colourless film of bacteria called dental plaque is constantly forming on our teeth. If you don't brush your teeth soon enough or frequently enough after eating or drinking, bacteria in the mouth mix with sugary foods to produce acids that can destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities, gingivitis and tooth loss.
Plaque can also grow under the gums on the roots of our teeth and erode the bones that support teeth. Left untreated, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist, who uses specific tools such as a scaler to scrape plaque and tartar from the teeth during a dental cleaning.
It's critical to maintain a proper at-home oral hygiene routine, to remove plaque from our teeth and gums before it causes problems.
If you don't brush or floss, plaque can get into the crevices between teeth and collect on our gums, then harden into tartar.Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to:
Reducing the risk of and presence of plaque buildup comes down to good tooth and gum care.
During your dental exam, your dentist will closely check your teeth and gums for plaque, tartar and signs of other oral health issues, either before or after your dental hygienist performs a professional deep cleaning.
To start, the hygienist will use a scaler to loosen plaque and tartar buildup between the teeth and along your gum line. Lastly, they will floss and polish your teeth to leave you with a clean, fresh smile.
Your cleaning may also include a fluoride treatment to help rebuild minerals in tooth enamel and prevent or reverse tooth decay.
Do you ever feel nervous about dentist appointments? Rest assured: we cater to nervous and anxious patients in a gentle and considerate manner. Call us now to schedule a free consultation!