Plaque – What is it? And how to get rid of it?

People used to think that tooth loss was a natural part of growing older, but we now know that this is false. Maintaining proper oral care will keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime.

One of the quickest ways to ruin your teeth is by leaving plaque on it. These masses of germs stick to your teeth, live in your mouth, and are difficult to see. Some plaque can cause tooth decay while others can lead to gum disease. Inflamed, red or bleeding gums are some of the first signs of gum disease. The tissue holding the teeth in place start to deteriorate when gum disease is left untreated, and the teeth can eventually fall out.

It is difficult to see dental plaque unless it is stained with a dye. It is possible to stain plaque red using disclosing tablets found at drug and grocery stores. You could also use a cotton swab and food colouring to stain plaque. The areas that are stained should be brushed more to remove the plaque. You should stain your teeth regularly to make sure all plaque is being removed. Ask your dental hygienist or dentist if your cleaning technique is useful if you notice stubborn plaque on your teeth.


One of the best ways to rid your teeth of plaque is by flossing at least once each day. The surface between your teeth is difficult to clean with a toothbrush and mouthwash alone. Plaque left between teeth will eventually become tartar, which is much more difficult to remove with regular brushing and flossing. Tartar is what causes the damage that ultimately leads to tooth loss and decay.

To floss correctly, use a piece of floss that is around 15 to 18 inches long and wrap it around each index finger. Slide it between your teeth and enclose it around the side of the tooth forming a “C” shape. Scrub the side with the floss by moving it up and down and be sure to scrub both sides of the tooth. You can use Super Floss if the space between our teeth is wider than usual. It looks similar to a toothpick and can be used with one hand.

Flossing is a good predictor of health issues. Bleeding gums, for example, are a warning sign telling you there are bacteria causing harm in your mouth. This bacteria can spread quickly throughout your body through your bloodstream, causing illness and inflammation in other parts of your body. Flossing regularly will prevent your gums from bleeding. If it continues to bleed after a week of flossing, you should consult a dentist.


You may be tempted to turn to this device as it is easier than wrapping floss around your fingers, but it is not necessary. This irrigating tool can be hard on your gums; however, it can be handy if you have braces.


Ideally, you should be brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. The pressure you brush with should be no more than the weight of an orange. Brushing for too long or too hard can cause more harm than good. Be sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride as this protects the teeth from decay. Food residue provides nutrients for germs in your mouth to flourish. It is imperative to remove food residue routinely from your mouth to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Vancity Dental is a complete team of professionals committed to giving you the highest quality general, restorative and cosmetic dental care located in Vancouver. Contact us for more information.