Plaque is a sticky film caused by bacteria in the mouth that builds up on teeth. If plaque builds up too much, tartar can form and it is much more difficult to remove. It is in your best interest to be diligent about preventing plaque build up on your teeth if your want to keep your teeth healthy and free from decay. Some easy ways to prevent plaque build up include:
Brushing your teeth is one of the easiest ways to prevent plaque from building up on your teeth. Ideally, you should brush after eating or drinking anything, but at a minimum you should brush in the morning and before you go to bed. When brushing isn't possible during other times of the day, make it a point to swish water in your mouth to help remove food debris that bacteria feed on.
Take the time to slow down when you're brushing your teeth in order to ensure that each tooth is properly brushed. It is also important to pay attention to your toothbrush—when the bristles become flat or frayed the toothbrush can no longer remove plaque as it should, so make sure you replace your toothbrush regularly.
Plaque can build up anywhere on your teeth, including the spaces between teeth that your toothbrush can't easily access. Thus, flossing daily is absolutely essential to prevent plaque from building up and developing into tartar.
Watch Your Diet
Many people do not realize that the foods that they eat can play a role in the build up of plaque. Sugar and carbohydrates are what the bacteria in the mouth feed on, so a diet high in sugar and carbs can cause an increase in the amount of bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to more plaque. If you enjoy carbs or sugary food, it is best to consume them in moderation in order to keep your teeth healthy and prevent plaque form forming.
Never Skip Dentist Appointments
No matter how good your at-home oral hygiene routine is, never skip a dentist appointment if you want to prevent plaque from building up. Having your teeth cleaned at a general dentistry where a dentist can remove large amounts of residual plaque that you may have missed while brushing. Your dentist may also give you a colored disclosing solution that sticks to plaque so you can see where it may be while you are brushing.