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When Plaque Attacks: What It Is and How to Get Rid of It

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_carter @ 10:49 pm
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Plaque is that icky film that grows on your teeth which dentists hate so much, but do you know what it actually is? While dental professionals have certainly spent a lot of time telling people that it is bad and needs to be eliminated for the sake of their dental health, many people don’t know much about what plaque is made of or what it does. Here’s what you should know about plaque and how to get rid of it.

Plaque Is Like a Bacterial Housing Development

Plaque is a yellowish or whitish buildup of bacteria that forms on the teeth above and below the gumline. It will accumulate if it is not regularly removed by proper oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits, and it will become more unsightly as the amount increases. If left to fester, it can cause tooth decay and gum disease. If plaque is allowed to continue growing, it can harden into tartar. Tartar is a nasty coagulation of bacterial colonies that creates a strong bond with the enamel of your teeth and requires professional dental attention to be removed.

How Can Plaque Be Removed?

Since plaque becomes more difficult to deal with as it accumulates, the key to preventing the damage it causes is to keep plaque levels low at all times. This can be achieved by practicing excellent oral hygiene at home and attending regular dental exams and cleanings. An excellent dental hygiene routine includes:


You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, and take care to wait at least thirty minutes after eating beforehand. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, clean every surface of your teeth as well as your tongue, cheeks, and gums using gentle, circular strokes for two minutes. This will eliminate most of the plaque from your mouth and leave your mouth feeling fresh.


Flossing is an essential part of a proper oral hygiene regimen because it can clean plaque and food debris from the tight places in your smile where a toothbrush cannot reach. Cut off a length of floss and hold a small section of it tight between your hands. Slide the floss into the space between a pair of teeth and move it against either side using up-and-down and side-to-side motions. Remove the floss from between your teeth, move to a clean section of floss, and repeat the process for every pair of teeth in your mouth. Your teeth will feel noticeably cleaner than they would with brushing alone.

Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash

Dentists recommend rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash because it will kill more than 99% of the germs that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Look for a brand with the American Dental Association’s seal on the label and follow the instructions. Your mouth and breath will be clean, fresh, and minty.

Taking proper care of your teeth can keep them healthy and strong for a lifetime. With proper oral hygiene and a trained dentist on your side, plaque doesn’t stand a chance.

About the Author

Dr. Bruce E. Carter earned his DMD from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and completed the Cosmetic Dentistry Continuum Level II at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. He serves as a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and has completed more than 1600 hours of advanced postgraduate training. His office in Lawrenceville, GA offers general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry. To learn more about removing plaque, contact the office online or dial (770) 995-7616.

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