Good oral health care includes professional dental treatments provided by your dentist and good habits at home. You should eat well-balanced meals and limit between-meal snacks. Keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing. Healthy habits ensure healthy teeth and gums by preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Your gums, periodontal ligaments, and underlying bones support your teeth and hold them in place. It is important to keep both this foundation and your teeth healthy. Your mouth contains bacteria. Some of the bacteria are good, and some types can be harmful to your teeth. Bacteria contained in plaque are a major cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
Plaque is a thin sticky film that constantly forms over your teeth. The sugar or starch in foods fuels plaque. The sugars mix with the bacteria in plaque to form destructive toxins.
Plaque helps to hold the toxins in place against your teeth. Plaque plays a major role in tooth decay. Plaque that has hardened on your teeth is called tarter. Tartar provides plaque with an ideal growing space. Plaque and tartar build up can lead to gum disease.
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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.