Plaque is a film of bacteria that develops throughout any given day on the surfaces of the teeth and gum line. Dental plaque results from the bacteria within your mouth reacting to the particles left behind every time you eat or drink something other than water. Following every meal, snack, breath mint, piece of candy, cup of coffee, soft drink, etc., tiny particles are left to linger in the mouth. Oral bacteria congregate around these tiny particles, putting the mouth at a constant battle against plaque.
Millions of bacteria are present inside the mouth every single day. That sounds scary, but the bacteria are honestly meant to “help” you. The bacteria’s main goal is to break down those tiny particles that are left behind after a meal or beverage so that they do not simply sit and rot inside the mouth. However, their “helpfulness” quickly turns to harm as they begin producing acids to help them in their endeavors.
Acids are well known for causing destruction to whatever is in their path. As the bacteria produce acids inside your mouth, the acids eat their way through the particles that have been left behind – but they do not stop. Acids will continue eating their way through your tooth enamel (causing cavities) and your gum tissues (causing gum disease). Acid-laden dental plaque that is allowed to remain inside your mouth will compromise the integrity of your teeth and gums. As plaque continues to linger, it will harden into a mineral deposit known as tartar, leaving the teeth yellowed and extremely vulnerable to damage. Tartar can only be removed at the dentist’s office through professional scraping. If your least favorite part of going to the dentist is the scraping that they do on your teeth, the dental floss needs to become your best friend.
Dental floss was specifically designed to remove plaque from the teeth. It easily slides beneath the plaque in order to scrape it away from the tooth’s surface. Flossing needs to be done on a daily basis in order to prevent the buildup of plaque, however many people mistakenly assume that brushing their teeth will keep them clean enough. The truth is that toothbrush bristles are not designed to remove plaque, and they certainly cannot clean inside the tight spaces between the teeth. Floss is an essential part of your oral health care routine, and it should be done daily to promote oral health.
At Smiles by Seese, we want to encourage you to do your part in achieving and maintaining optimal oral health. Flossing daily is the best way to keep your teeth clean and your mouth as healthy as possible between dental visits.