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You’ve probably heard about plaque before–especially if you’ve ever visited a dentist–but do actually know what it is? Do you know what you can do to keep plaque at bay, stop it from forming, and the effect plaque can actually have on your smile?

As you may know, plaque is a substance that can build up on your teeth. If you don’t care for your teeth well, or if you follow an unhealthy diet, you could unintentionally create an environment where plaque can thrive. You see, plaque can grow more quickly if you have more bad bacteria in your mouth than good—which is often the result of an unbalanced diet. If you don’t remove plaque from your smile, your plaque will harden into tartar, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.

It takes around 24 hours for plaque to harden into tartar. Sadly, tartar can’t be removed without visiting a dental professional. If tartar isn’t removed, it could spread below the gum line, which will make it more difficult to remove and leave you more vulnerable to periodontitis.

The best way to avoid problems with plaque is to remove it, and then to avoid plaque buildup thereafter. To stop plaque buildup, we recommend brushing and flossing every day and including crispy foods like apples, carrots, and celery in your diet. Foods like these will naturally help clean your smile.

Finally, please remember to schedule regular checkups with our dentist, Dr. Kinney and Musser. We’ll be happy to examine the health of your teeth and gums and offer you personalized advice. If you’re interested in learning more, or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact Art & Science Family Dentistry at 651-739-1894. We’re eager to hear from you.