Dental plaque is a colorless biofilm that forms around the tooth surfaces. It can attach on every tooth surface especially on intedental surface, occlusal surface, irregular surface of the tooth enamel, and close with the gingival tissue. The biofilm forms just 1-2 minutes after brushing your teeth. The teeth are covered by a film of salivary mucoproteins which is colonized by 350 different kind of bacteria. The most important are Streptococcus mutans, salivaris, mitis, Lactobacillus, actinomycetes etc.They use carbohydrates stuck on the tooth surface for their metabolism and multiply making dental plaque thicker and more complex.
From the bacteria metabolism lactic acid is formed which irritates the soft tissue around the tooth and demineralize the hard tissue. The film is soft initially it is unstructured and is called amorphous dental plaque and comes off simply with mechanical cleaning. Oral hygiene procedure disrupts the microbial colonies and the process of bacteria multiplying and adhering start all over again. Dental plaque starts to mature and harden in the first 48 hours for the deposition of calcium salts. After approximately 10 days dental plaque becomes dental calculus (tartar), rock hard and difficult to remove and professional help is needed. Dental plaque can also give rise to dental caries (tooth decay) or periodontal disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis. That is why it is so important to brush your teeth after each meal, to prevent the formation of mature dental plaque. To better clean the plaque you may use disclosing tablet which color it and make it visible. These tablets can be used for kids too and they don’t have any side effect because they are just like candies.
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