Plaque is made up of invisible masses of harmful germs that live in the mouth and stick to the teeth. Some types can cause tooth decay, other types cause gum disease.
Red, puffy or bleeding gums can be the first signs of gum disease. If gum disease is not treated, the tissues holding the teeth in place are destroyed and the teeth are eventually lost. Dental plaque is difficult to see unless it’s stained. You can stain plaque by chewing red “disclosing tablets”, found at grocery stores and pharmacies, or by using a cotton swab to smear green food colouring on your teeth.
The red or green colour left on the teeth will show you where there is still plaque — and where you have to brush again to remove it. Stain and examine your teeth regularly to make sure you are removing all plaque. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist to see if your techniques are any good. Use floss to remove germs and food particles between teeth.
Rinse. Another way of removing plaque between teeth is to use a dental pick — a thin plastic or wooden stick. These picks can be purchased at grocery stores and pharmacies. Use any tooth brushing method that is comfortable, but do not scrub hard back and forth.
Small circular motions and short back and forth motions work well then rinse. To prevent decay, it is what is on the toothbrush that counts. Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is what protects teeth from decay.
Unsure about your dental health? Call your nearest Synergy Dental Clinic and we’ll be happy to help.