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3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408

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Greensboro Dental Clinic, Dr. Margaret Szott

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August 27th, 2019

It’s Did you know that 35% of people say they have never had plaque? Here are some hard truths about plaque! 

Everyone has plaque, even if you can’t see it, .  But did you know that 35% of people say they have never had it?  When saliva, food, and fluids combine - plaque forms between your teeth and along the gum line.  It is a sticky, colorless or pale yellow film.  Here are some hard truths about plaque:
How does it form?
Plaque forms from bacteria that already live within your mouth. In our mouth alone, we have around 8 billion discovered bacteria. There are good bacteria, and there are harmful bacteria, and unfortunately for us, plaque is full of the dangerous kind. When you eat certain foods like sugar and simple starches, the bacteria in your mouth feed on the food source and quickly overpopulates your mouth, creating a plaque that damages teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel, causing cavities and  the early stages of gum disease called gingivitis.
Are plaque and tarter the same thing?
Plaque and tarter are NOT the same thing.   Plaque is the beginning stage of tarter.  Plaque grows back within a few hours of brushing your teeth and  if left untreated, can cause serious problems such as cavities and gingivitis and make your teeth look dingy and yellow. If you do not successfully remove the plaque from your teeth, it will begin to harden.  Hardened plaque is called calculus or tarter.
After 48 hours, if plaque is not removed with proper brushing and flossing, the calcium in our saliva causes it to harden.  Once hardened, it is tarter and impossible to remove with just a toothbrush. Tarter must be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. 
How Do You Prevent Plaque from harming your health?
Diet, oral hygiene, and attending regularly scheduled dental appointments are the three best ways you can manage plaque.  The American Heart Association recommends no more than 35g of sugar a day.  By limiting your sugar and simple carb intake, you will limit the plaque development in your mouth and also do your heart a favor. Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once will help prevent the build-up of plaque. Lastly, visiting the dentist every six months for a check-up will allow tarter to be removed and permit problem areas to be detected early.   
Ready to fight plaque? Schedule your professional cleaning and exam with Dr. Margaret Szott to remove that tartar build-up and ensure your mouth is kept healthy.

Where We Are Located

3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
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