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What is Plaque and How is it Removed?

Everyone has plaque, a sticky film that forms on the teeth when bacteria mix with acid, sugar, or starches in the mouth. If you don’t remove plaque on teeth, it can harden to tartar, which can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and tooth loss. Regular dental exams and routine dental cleanings help protect teeth and teach patients how to prevent plaque buildup in San Diego, CA. An efficient at-home oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing is important too. Learning no only what causes but also how to remove plaque can help patients at Dental Express to learn how to best care for their teeth.

What causes plaque on teeth?

Understanding the difference between plaque vs tartar helps patients understand why oral hygiene, and regular dental exams and dental cleanings are important. So, what is plaque? Plaque is a colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth. It begins to form on the teeth up to 12 hours after brushing, which is why it’s so important to brush at least twice a day. When you eat, the bacteria on your teeth produce acids that erode tooth enamel and can lead to tooth decay. Tartar is what accumulates when plaque isn’t removed. When it’s left too long, it will harden to tartar and become much more difficult to remove. Tartar can only be removed by our dental professionals at Dental Express.

Some of our patients in San Diego, CA, may be more likely to develop plaque, including those who:

  • Have a high-starch or sugar diet

  • Have dry mouth due to antidepressant medication or other medical conditions

  • Smoke

What are the main complications of plaque?

When you don’t brush or floss daily, you are at risk for many different oral health problems, including:

  • Tooth decay

  • Gingivitis or later stages of periodontal disease

  • Periodontitis

  • Tooth loss

  • Abscessed tooth

Scheduling regular dental exams with our team at Dental Express in San Diego, CA helps ensure your oral health is intact.

How to remove plaque

Removing plaque from teeth at the dental office isn’t difficult. First, we will examine your teeth and gums. Next, we take dental X-rays to detect any problems that we may not see with our eyes alone. If we detect any problems, our team will create a customized treatment plan for each patient. Cavities are addressed before teeth cleaning, while other more extensive procedures may be done during another visit to our San Diego, CA, dental office.

During your dental cleaning, we first remove any tartar or plaque on the teeth. Our hygienist uses special tools to perform tooth scaling, which will break down these substances without hurting your teeth. After your teeth and gums are thoroughly clean, your enamel is polished, which can remove any stains. Our professional hygienist team can also make suggestions to our patients on how to take care of their teeth from home best.

Learn how plaque is removed efficiently

Plaque is a key player when it comes to tooth decay. If you care for your teeth and gums well from home and schedule regular dental exams and dental cleanings, you can keep it at bay. To learn more about how to remove plaque from teeth, schedule a visit to Dental Express in San Diego, CA today.