Dental Plaque = the root of all mouth evil!
The two main diseases in dentistry and for that matter in the World are:
Both of these are caused by the bacteria which make up your dental plaque. It makes sense then that good oral hygiene- a.k.a good plaque removal is perhaps the most important skill you should could ever master in relation to the long term health of your teeth and gums.
If you could remove 100% of the plaque in your mouth without killing all the good bacteria, you wouldn’t get any dental caries or periodontal disease. Unfortunately this is impossible and thus not a very realistic target given that within minutes of a full dental clean by a dentist, bacteria are already starting to settle once again onto your teeth.
Keeping the amount of plaque in your mouth to a minimum, through correct brushing
and interproximal cleaning
is the best we can hope for. By the time you can visibly see plaque on a tooth or ginigivitis in the gums
(of course often they go hand in hand), then we know that plaque has been effectively missed for a good 5-7 days. That’s nearly a week!
But “I have been brushing” you say insistently… and I believe you… but let me ask you a question, "If you don’t brush where the plaque is, then would you agree, the chances of you removing it are between nought and zero?"
You are not alone, everyone switches to autopilot after a while… not watching where they should be brushing, just accepting that they are doing it right, or not spending the time needed to do a proper job, or persevering and giving flossing the attention it deserves.
So if we are going to brush our teeth twice every day for our whole lives, we may as well learn to do it properly once and for all! Then all that is needed is the occasional bi- annual check-in with the dentist to see how you are doing and have any areas you are missing pointed out to you. Plus a quick refresher of dental brushing techniques.