Plaque affects everyone without exception. It is the film that forms when bacteria in your mouth accumulate on your teeth. When plaque stays on your teeth for too long, they pay the price. This leads to cavities and gingivitis.
You can't get the bacteria out of your mouth (some are actually good for you), but you can remove plaque build-up with these five tips.
1. Brush at least twice a day
You know you should do it, but how often? Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal to remove plaque as soon as it develops.
It's especially important to brush your teeth in the evening before going to bed because without it, plaque stays on your teeth all night.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles can be rough on your gums. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. If it's too worn out, it won't work well.
2. Clean between your teeth
Your teeth aren't the only places where plaque collects. It also hides in the spaces between your teeth. So it's essential to clean between your teeth.
Even with the Y-Brush toothbrush, brushing your teeth alone will not remove the plaque between your teeth. You should floss at least once a day. If wrapping floss around your fingers isn't for you, there are other options that are just as effective, including :
There is also no right or wrong time to clean between your teeth. You can do it before or after brushing. Just make sure you do it.
For many people, antibacterial mouthwash can be another option in plaque prevention. Mouthwash usually helps dislodge plaque, making it easier to remove.
But a mouthwash that is good for someone else may not be good for you.
It is recommended that you choose a mouthwash based on your needs. If you have gingivitis, sensitive teeth or a tendency to cavities, your mouthwash will need to be adapted.
Some mouthwashes with alcohol can dry out your mouth. This is not good for plaque prevention. Your saliva helps keep your mouth healthy. Dry mouth can lead to a type of plaque called sticky plaque, which is harder to clean. Ask your dentist which mouthwash might be right for you.