A little plaque is OK, but a MASSIVE plaque is so much better!
Displayed over your desk, fireplace or headboard, these shiny wall-mounted plates can proclaim things like “World’s Greatest Dad,” “Champion of Whatever I’m Doing,” “Manliest Man of the Moment,” or…
Whoops! Sorry. This post is supposed to be about the OTHER kind of plaque. The clear, sticky substance that forms on teeth can earn you UNwanted awards like “World’s Doggiest Breath,” “Canada’s Slimiest Smile,” and so on. Sure enough, having a sweet-smelling and attractive-looking mouth is a great reason to brush your teeth properly, floss daily, quit smoking, and visit your dentist regularly.
Now’s the time to attack plaque with these easy tips!
Four ways to remove plaque
- Can you remove plaque yourself? For sure! First and foremost, brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day with toothpaste and floss once a day. Here’s how to brush and floss properly.
- Bite into fruits and vegetables like celery, apples, carrots and cucumbers. Their crunchy texture scrapes away plaque, and eating them triggers the production of mouth-cleansing saliva. Plus, these foods are packed with nutrients that do the rest of your body good, too!
- Avoid eating excess sugar, as it is one of the main causes of plaque and other dental problems.
- See your dentist for regular dental exams, and schedule a professional cleaning to remove plaque, stains and built-up tartar.
More problems with plaque
Plaque is at the root of many dental problems. If left unchecked, it will eventually harden into tartar, which can only be professionally removed. The bacteria in plaque and tartar cause tooth decay, which can lead to toothaches and trips to the dentist for fillings. The same bacteria also cause gingivitis, an inflammation and discolouration of the gums that can make them bleed when you brush and floss.
The good news: Gingivitis isn’t painful. The bad news: If it gets more serious, gingivitis can lead to gum disease, which puts you at risk of losing teeth! Even worse, the bacteria in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body through the bloodstream, and when they reach the heart they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause inflammation. This may put you at greater risk for heart attacks.
Jump on the oral health bandwagon
By sending plaque packing, you’ll also be supporting National Oral Health Month. Celebrated every April, this when all Canadians are encouraged to take extra care of our teeth and gums, and recognize the importance of good oral health.
Speaking and eating without discomfort or embarrassment, after all, is an important part of being a Champion of Whatever You’re Doing!
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.