Plaque is a substance that’s constantly forming in our mouths. It results from our oral bacteria
feeding on what we eat—and plaque is a waste product of that process. Plaque can feel like
something fuzzy covering your teeth, but is more or less invisible until it builds up.
Removing plaque daily is an essential part of taking care of your oral health. Without the
removal of plaque, it begins to harden in a matter of hours. What foods and habits increase
plaque buildup in your mouth? You’ll want to avoid the following habits for a healthy smile!
Brushing is an excellent way to remove plaque, but unfortunately, it can only reach so many
places in our mouths. The spaces between our teeth are often the most neglected—plaque
forms here just as it does on the rest of the surfaces of your teeth.
When you neglect to floss, plaque quickly builds up and can cause enamel erosion, bad breath,
and even tooth decay. You only need to floss once a day to experience the benefits, so get out
the floss and get rid of the plaque!
Eating Sugar Frequently
The bacteria in our mouths thrive on simple sugars, which results in more plaque than other
foods such as vegetables or proteins. If you frequently eat sugar throughout the day, you’re
increasing your risk of plaque buildup.
Eating simple sugars such as white bread, cakes, and candies in moderation is fine, as long as
consume them with water and wait 30 minutes to brush afterwards. Just remember—the more
sugar you eat, the more plaque you’ll need to remove later!
Not Drinking Water
Water is not only essential to our bodily health, it’s just as important for our smiles. Water acts
as a buffer between the harsh acids of foods such as sugars and our tooth enamel. When you
drink water, you help balance your oral bacteria, replenish your saliva, and boost hydration
throughout the body.
When you neglect to drink enough water—or skip water in favor of soda or juice—your oral
health suffers. Sipping on water throughout the day is an ideal way to stay hydrated and
protect your teeth and gums!
Forgetting to Brush Before Bed
Brushing your teeth twice a day doesn’t give plaque much of a chance to build up, provided
you’re doing a quality brushing job! However, skipping brushing leaves a solid window for
plaque to form, and if you’re missing that crucial brushing session before bed, plaque that’s
built up all day now has a chance to wreak havoc on your mouth.
Forgetting to brush before bed is a bad habit that should be avoided. If you have trouble
remembering to brush or are exhausted before bed, try brushing earlier in the evening before
you forget or become so tired you want to skip this important task!
Skipping Regular Checkups
Despite our best intentions when brushing and flossing, plaque is sneaky and can build up in
places we miss when brushing or aren’t able to reach. Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings
at least once a year can help you avoid the consequences of plaque buildup and experience a
Have you been guilty of any of the above habits? It’s never too late to begin taking care of your
smile. When it comes to something as harmful as plaque, it’s important to remember that you
can help prevent plaque buildup and create a smile you can be proud of for life!