Do you ever notice a fuzzy sensation when you run your tongue along your teeth? If so, what you're experiencing is plaque. Plaque is a form of bacteria that layers itself across your teeth. It produces acids, which means it can wear down your enamel and increase your risk of gum disease. Because of this, it's in your interest to keep your plaque levels low. Here are some ways you can do so.
Reduce Sugary and Starchy Foods
Sugary and starchy foods are an excellent source of sustenance for your oral bacteria. Although you don't need to abandon your favourite sweet treats altogether, you should focus on replacing them with alternatives from time to time. For example, try wholegrain bread rather than always eating white. Or, switch to dark chocolate rather than sugar-laden milk chocolate. Over time, these small changes can reduce your plaque levels and may have a positive effect on your weight.
Try Taking a Probiotic
When it comes to oral bacteria, having the right balance can make a big difference. A form of bacteria called A12 can reduce the amount of Streptococcus mutans present in your mouth. As Streptococcus mutans is responsible for forming plaque, reducing it can have an overall positive effect on your oral health. If you do choose to take a probiotic, make sure you accompany it with good oral hygiene habits.
Know Your Medications
Certain medications increase your risk of developing plaque. However, they all have different reasons for making this happen. For example, some antidepressants will give you a dry mouth. As having a dry mouth makes it easier for bad bacteria to breed, it also increases your risk of plaque. One way to combat this is by reducing salt in your diet and increasing the amount of water you drink. If your dry mouth persists, try speaking to your dentist or doctor.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is the cornerstone of keeping your plaque levels low. Brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time can significantly reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth. Similarly, routine mouthwash and dental floss can dislodge the food that plaque loves to feed on. If your usual efforts aren't sufficient, you may find that your dentist prescribes mouthwash and toothpaste that contain prescription ingredients. Always make sure you attend your routine dental appointments and flag any symptoms such as bleeding when you brush your teeth.
Keep these tips in mind when looking for a local dentist.