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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?

Plaque is a soft substance that builds up on your teeth. Plaque typically forms when there’s an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your mouth. If there’s more bad bacteria in your mouth than good, plaque can actually grow faster. The process is also accelerated if you don’t brush and floss consistently, or if you have an unbalanced diet. If you don’t remove plaque from your smile, it will harden into tartar, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to cavities 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.

Do you have more questions about plaque buildup and what it can do to your smile? Would you like to learn more about how our dentist, Dr. Alberto A. Herrero, can help you keep your teeth healthy and strong? If so, we invite you to give Alberto A. Herrero, DDS a call at 734-222-9140. We’ll be happy to address any questions you may have. We’re excited to hear from you soon.