Dental plaque is a sticky material that forms on and between tooth surfaces above the gums, along the gum line, and below the gum line on the roots of the teeth. When you eat, the bacteria in plaque use the sugars in your food to produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel.
Why is it so important to control plaque? Because the excess buildup of plaque can lead to a variety of destructive dental issues, including gum disease, cavities and bone loss.
With plaque being an ongoing threat, good oral hygiene must be a continuous effort. Brushing and flossing twice a day is essential in preventing the accumulation of plaque. In addition, studies have shown that using an electric toothbrush can significantly reduce plaque buildup.
If plaque is not removed frequently through brushing and flossing, it can develop into tartar, which is basically calcified plaque. While plaque can be controlled at home with good oral hygiene, tartar can only be removed by your hygienist. This is why frequent visits to your dentist are so vital. Your hygienist will remove any plaque, tartar and oral bacteria from your teeth before they cause damage to your teeth and gums.