Although the teeth are vulnerable to the buildup of plaque and tartar, most oral health problems can be prevented with proper and diligent oral health care. Those dental problems that do begin can be treated in their early stages before more serious conditions develop. That is why cosmetic dentist Bruce Wilderman focuses of preventative care and early stage treatments for his patients. Because most oral health problems begin with the presence of plaque and tartar, Dr. Wilderman teaches his patients the causes of plaque and tartar so that they are better prepared for preventing and treating these conditions.
What Causes Plaque and Tartar?
One of the primary functions of the mouth is to take in foods and beverages to nourish the body. Unfortunately, many of the foods and drinks we consume contain sugars and starches that are left behind on the teeth and gums after we have finished eating or drinking. Bacteria thrive on these substances, so, the more sugars, starches, or food particles that are caught between the teeth and gums, the more bacteria will multiply. Plaque is simply the sticky film that is comprised of these sugars and bacteria. While everyone will develop plaque, it can be removed and controlled with proper oral health routines.
Plaque that is not properly removed or controlled can begin to harden on the teeth. Plaque that has become calcified is referred to as tartar. So, while the primary cause of plaque is an abundance of sugars, starches, and bacteria on the teeth, the main cause of tartar is the failure to properly clean the teeth and gums of plaque buildup. Plaque that is left untreated is likely to develop into tartar.
Preventing and Treating Plaque and Tartar
It is not possible to prevent plaque all together, however, the following habits will ensure that plaque does not develop into tartar or buildup to the point that it causes serious health concerns for the teeth and gums:
- Brush a minimum of twice a day to brush away plaque from the surface of the teeth and clean away sugars, starches, and food particles
- Rinse the mouth well with water when brushing is not possible
- Floss at least once a day to remove plaque, bacteria, and particles from the gum line and in between teeth
- Schedule dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year
Professional cleanings offer our Philadelphia patients efficient plaque removal and also allow us to monitor the patient’s oral health. If plaque or tartar has built up to the point that damage has occurred, restorative dentistry treatments can repair the teeth to improve strength and function. Depending on the extent of damage Dr. Wilderman can provide dental fillings, dental crowns, and, if need be, replacement for lost teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
The causes of plaque cannot be avoided. However, with the care of an experienced dentist such as Bruce Wilderman, you can prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar while maintaining good oral health. If you are in need of a dental exam and professional cleaning and are looking for quality and experience, schedule an appointment with Dr. Wilderman at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!