What it is and how to get rid of it
People used to think that as you got older you naturally lost your teeth. We now know that's not true. By following easy steps for keeping your teeth and gums -healthy plus seeing your dentist regularly--you can have your teeth for a lifetime!
Plaque: What is it?
Plaque is made up of invisible masses of harmful germs that live in the mouth and stick to the teeth.
- Some types of plaque cause tooth decay.
- Other types of plaque cause gum disease.
The progression of gum disease. You can prevent it!
Red, puffy or bleeding gums can be the first signs of gum disease. If gum disease is not treated, the tissues holding the teeth in place are destroyed and the teeth are eventually lost.
Dental plaque is difficult to see unless it's stained, You can stain plaque by chewing red "disclosing tablets," found at grocery stores and drug stores, or by using a cotton swab to smear green food coloring on your teeth. The red or green color left on the teeth will show you where there is still plaque--and where you have to brush again to remove it. Stain and examine your teeth regularly to make sure you are removing all plaque. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist if your plaque removal techniques are o.k.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190