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Does a filmy substance keep building up along your gumline and on your teeth? Does brushing, flossing, or gently scraping it usually make it come off? That could be plaque, a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that continually forms on your teeth.

Bacteria naturally resides in your mouth and it can gather on your tongue and teeth. Plaque may often begin at the gumline, but it is completely normal and our doctor even expects to see it. The problems, however can come when the bacteria mixes with sugar, and an acid may be produced that could eat through your enamel and form a cavity.

If plaque remains on your teeth it could harden and calcify, becoming tartar. Once it has calcified, it can be much more difficult to remove, and Dr. Carol Halloran may need to help you remove it from your smile.

Preventing plaque buildup

One of the best and most convenient ways to prevent plaque buildup may be to practice proper dental hygiene. Our doctor advises that you brush at least twice a day and floss once daily. You could also reduce your sugary and starchy foods which could limit the bacteria’s food supply. A piece of sugar-free gum can also be beneficial because it may increase your saliva, which can work to naturally clean your mouth.

If you have questions about your dental health and reducing plaque from your smile in Waterloo, Iowa, you are welcome to schedule a consultation at Crossroads Dental by calling 319.291.3908. We would be happy to help you to have a healthy smile.