Plaque: A Cause of Tooth Misalignment
Your Brushing and Flossing Habits Make a Difference
But what is often underappreciated is that inadequate brushing and flossing habits result in the development of plaque, the sticky bacterial film that forms around food particles that remain on teeth and gums. If not cleaned off within 48 hours, it can harden into tartar, which only a dental hygienist can scrape off with special tools. Some 80% of Americans have periodontal (gum) disease due to plaque and tartar.
Dental Implants or Bridges are Timely Solutions
Unless periodontal infections are treated, they ultimately will lead to the loss of teeth, which need to be replaced by a dental implant or bridge ASAP because otherwise the neighboring teeth naturally start leaning towards the gap where the tooth was. This results in not only those teeth becoming looser, but starts a chain reaction of misalignment unless the first missing tooth is replaced right away.
The best and potentially permanent solution is a dental implant, because it is anchored into the jaw, like a tooth, which stops the movement of other teeth. A less expensive, but also less durable, alternative is a dental bridge, which keeps the teeth on both sides of the gap from leaning in, with an artificial tooth hanging in between to preserve your smile.
Prevention is Better than Treatment
Prevention of plaque from developing is, of course, better than treatment, so it is important to know its origins before you need to brush and floss. It thrives on simple carbohydrates, especially sugar of all kinds and even refined foods like white rice, white flour, and white pasta. The average American eats 100 pounds of sugar per year because it is seemingly everywhere, including canned vegetables, in part due to its preservative qualities.
You can’t completely avoid carbs, but complex ones in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans should be a part of a healthy diet. Just be aware that as you chew, the carbs can combine with saliva into a chemical that erodes the hard enamel surface of your teeth. That’s why it is so important to thoroughly brush and floss twice a day (if you are not sure exactly how to do both, which is complicated, ask your hygienist to show you).
If you have not had a full dental exam or a professional cleaning in the past six months, call Innovative Smiles today to set an appointment to be sure the misalignment process has not already started.