Reducing Plaque Buildup in Teeth

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There are a number of key ways in which you can reduce plaque buildup on your teeth on a daily basis. Find out about reducing plaque buildup in teeth with help from a dentist and chief clinical director in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Caring for Your Teeth
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Roark, chief clinical director of Coast Dental. The key to having a healthy smile is reducing plaque buildup in teeth. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and multiplies deep below the gum line. Now plaque not only causes cavities, it also causes periodontal disease which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The good news is that there's a lot you can do at home to reduce plaque. First, proper brushing is essential. You need to brush at least twice a day and I always recommend using a sonic toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes get at last 30,000 brushstrokes per minute, a rate you can't possibly achieve with a manual toothbrush. Your dentist or hygienist can recommend one for you. Moisten the brush head and apply a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. You're going to brush for a full two minutes, 30 seconds in each section in the mouth. Place the bristles along the gum line at a 45 degree angle. The bristles should touch both the tooth surface and the gum line. First, brush the outer tooth surfaces of the teeth by going from the bottom to the top. Brush the outer surface of all teeth in a quadrant and then move to the inner surfaces and brush the same way. Use a back and forth motion on the biting surfaces. Next, move your toothbrush to another section and repeat, making sure to maintain that 45 degree angle. When you are done brushing you need to floss at least once a day every day. First, gently glide the floss in between the teeth and then wrap it around first one tooth and then move to the other to remove the plaque from along the edges of each tooth. It's important to angle the floss so that it hugs the tooth in a C shape and that you are able to get it slightly under the gum line. Last but not least, you need to visit your dentist for professional cleanings. Only a dentist or hygienist can remove the plaque buildup that brushing and flossing can't get. Thank you for watching, I'm Dr. Cindy Roark with Coast Dental.

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