A healthy smile matters a lot in life. It can affect your self-confidence, how you present yourself, not to mention your ability to do more in the long term, such as having a proper bite and even how you talk. To that end, one of the biggest dangers posed to your smile is the encroachment of plaque. Here, we’re going to look at what plaque is, why it’s such a danger, and what you can do about it.

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What is plaque?

You might be able to see plaque when it builds up enough on your teeth, but you may be wondering what, exactly, it is. Sometimes colorless, sometimes a pale yellow, plaque is a film of bacteria that sticks to the teeth. It forms constantly and when you eat or drink, it produces acids in response to the new matter. This acid is where the real danger comes in, able to both wear away at the enamel of your teeth (tooth decay) and lead to inflammation of the gums (tooth decay.) Not treating plaque can lead to major problems, including infection and tooth loss.

Brush more effectively

Brushing your teeth is the way that most of us manage our plaque each and every day. As mentioned, plaque forms constantly, but it is most dangerous after we eat, as this is when it releases acid. As such, you should make sure that you brush not just every day, but after every time you eat or drink, as well. Fluoride toothpaste can help a great deal, and electronic toothbrushes are largely thought to get rid of plaque more quickly and effectively than the manual type.

Don’t skip the flossing

Flossing can be vital for your oral health as well, for a lot of reasons. For one, your toothbrush, even a good electric one, isn’t going to be able to effectively reach every part of the mouth. For the parts between your teeth, flossing can be more effective and options like instafloss.com can help you do it a lot more quickly. Automatic flossers can also help if you have trouble reaching any parts of your teeth manually. Whatever the case, flossing at least once a day is vital for the long-term care of your oral health.

Quit smoking

Smoking can have a great effect on your oral health, as demonstrated by webmd.com. This can include an increased risk of gum disease, cavities, and much more. People who smoke cigarettes as well as other kinds of tobacco are shown to have a much higher chance of not just plaque, but also tartar. Tartar is effectively hardened plaque that is much harder to remove from your teeth. You can’t do it manually with a toothbrush very well, so if you have tartar you may need to visit your dentist to have it cleaned off professionally.

If you want to ensure the very best for your oral health, then you need to make sure that you’re taking the fight directly against plaque with the tips above.