To many people, dental hygiene is something to practice every day. They don’t always automatically make the connection that it has to their routine preventive dental visits, aside from both being important. However, much like professional teeth cleaning, your daily hygiene routine is essential to preventing the buildup of oral bacteria in the form of dental plaque. Today, we take a closer look at this connection, and why keeping up with good hygiene on a consistent basis is the cornerstone of a successful preventive dental care routine.

The basic principles of dental hygiene

Terms like plaque and tartar are common enough that most people recognize them. However, not everyone recognizes the difference, or why one can pose a greater threat than the other. Specifically, plaque is the biofilm that oral bacteria develop to cling to your teeth’s surfaces and along your gum line. It’s also the main target of your daily hygiene routine; by brushing and flossing routinely every day, you can prevent most of the plaque buildup on your teeth. By contrast, tartar is the calcified form of plaque, often referred to as calculus, and can develop when plaque remains on your teeth for a couple of days. Unlike plaque, tartar can’t be dissolved by toothpaste and water, nor can it be removed with your toothbrush and floss.

Why preventive dental care matters

The reason why dental plaque and tartar is so important to control is because the bacteria that form them and remain protected by them are also responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and more. When these bacteria are allowed to accumulate and remain on your teeth long enough, they can erode your healthy tooth structure or infect your gums (leading to gum disease). Because of the difference between dental plaque and tartar, successfully preventing the issues that oral bacteria can cause requires consistency in both your dental hygiene and preventive dental care routines.

Optimizing both for better oral health

The main point of both good hygiene and routine preventive dental visits is to stop oral bacteria from causing harm to your teeth and oral tissues. This is important for many reasons, but most importantly, such issues can permanently impact your healthy tooth structure, gums, and oral tissues. The right restorative dental treatment can help you recover from most issues and regain your good oral health. However, preventing these consequences to your oral health is always the better option, whenever possible.

Learn more about dental hygiene and preventive care

Your dental hygiene routine might seem like a small thing, but it’s one of the most important aspects of successful preventive dental care. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.