There goes a popular saying that-“you dont have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you dont need” this statement to a very large extent in establishing the importance of oral health. The appearance of your teeth goes a long way in giving a first impression about you.
When it comes to oral health, one of the very important topics that come to the fore is the way to get rid of dental plaque; because many oral and particularly dental defects are in one way or another related to it, talk about gingivitis, periodontitis and so on.
Gingivitis is a common corollary of plaque build-up in the teeth which causes the inflammation of the gingiva(the gum); as a result of host-parasite interactions localized at the gingival tissues.
Gingivitis can be reversed, however, if left untreated could lead to periodontitis which is the break down and collapse of the bone structure of the teeth. Plaque is formed as result of build up of materials on salivary pellicles, majorly microorganisms.
About one thousand microorganisms have been associated with plaque. About 80-90% weight of plaque is water while majority of its dry weight is made up of microorganism most especially bacteria and the rest- of complex sugars. There are about two major kinds of plaque or biofilm formation: supragingival biofilm, subgingival biofilm.
Supragingival plaque is the formation of plaque above and on the surface of the gingiva(gum); while subgingival latter is the formation of plaque below the gingiva. There are certain factors that aid in the development of dental biofilms which include; pH, saliva, temperature and redox reactions.
The estimated pH value of the oral cavity is between 6 and 7 while the most suitable pH value for the effective build up of plaque is between 6.6 and 8.2 which makes the development of plaque a possibility in a healthy mouth; plaque development is not actually a problem but preventing the build-up, which may lead to future defects is the main focus. The following are ways of preventing the build-up of plaque.
Tooth-brushing : the brushing of teeth is a phenomenon that started in ancient times when man saw the need for oral and dental health. Twigs were first used in ancient Egypt as early as 3000B.C. The use of the modern tooth brushes started at around the 17th century in England where there was a mass production of tooth brushes in the year 1780.
Tooth brushing is the act of scrubbing the tooth with an aid called the toothbrush either manually or through the aid of a battery-powered toothbrush. The toothbrush is often used alongside a particular substance called the tooth paste which helps for easy removal of dental plaque in the teeth. It is advised that brushing be done twice a day to ensure effective cleaning of the tooth which might have been partial if done once a day.
Brushing ensures the removal of food residues and debris that might aid in the formation of biofilms. There is a technique of brushing teeth which makes for effectiveness: the front and back teeth should be brushed at an angle 45 degrees to the gumline, while the surfaces for chewing should be brushed in a back and forth motion.
The use of toothpaste with toothbrush helps in making fluoride available to the tooth; fluoride give an aesthetic balance to the tooth and ultimately prevents the build up of dental plaque. Other dental cares could be adopted such as the use of inter dental floss, etc.
2.REDUCTION OF SUGARY FOOD
sugary foods contain sugars which could be acted upon by microorganisms in the mouth for the formation of plaque ,which most importantly can lead to the formation of acids from the fermentation of sugars which can damage the teeth. Examples include: streptococcus mutans; fusobacterium; actinobacterium.
A balanced diet is very important. It is the adequate presence of all nutritional value in food. That is; the presence of all necessary nutrients in food in adequate proportion. Eating junk food which are majorly processed food can increase plaque production in the teeth. It is also very important to avoid as much as possible in-between meal snacks.
4.REGULAR DENTAL CHECKUP
Regular dental check-ups are important to track dental health. Many Individuals especially in developing nations of the world downplay its importance. Professionals are in the best position to give advice and consultations in any area; and in this case, the dentists are the best professionals to consult as regards dental matters. Make it a priority to consult a dentist once in a while.
As the saying by Miguel de Cervantes: “Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond. The teeth should be treated as a treasure, and be guarded with the heart in all diligence. Ensure to take steps towards a more rewarding oral health culture.