Plaque is sticky layer of material containing bacteria that accumulates on teeth, including where toothbrushes can’t reach. Many of the foods cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Sugary foods are obvious sources of plaque, but there are others that you might not realize can cause harm. Starches – such as bread, crackers and cereals – also cause acids to form. Plaques also produces substances that irritates the gums, making them red, sensitive and susceptible to bleeding. This can lead to gum disease, in which gum pull away from the teeth and form pockets that fill with bacteria and pus. If the gums are not treated, the gum around the teeth can be destroyed and teeth may become loose or have to be removed.

Dental cleanings involve removing plaque and hard tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect your teeth.

While this is definitely beneficial, it unfortunately means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will build up over time, almost like the limescale deposits at the base of your kettle. Usually it is tooth coloured and can be easily mistaken as part of the teeth, but it can also vary from brown to black in colour. If this tartar is allowed to build up on the teeth, it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive beside the gums.

How can I get rid of plaque?

The best way to remove plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day. Brush your teeth twice per day with a soft-brisled brush. The size and shape of your toothbrush should fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily. Use an antibacterial toothpaste containing flouride, which help protect your teeth from decay. Clean between the teeth once a day with a floss or interdental cleaners to remove plaques from between the teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing is essential to prevent gums disease. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – See your dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist.

How much does a cleaning cost?

This will depend on the patient based on many factors: how many teeth are left; when was the last time a cleaning was performed; how often are the brushing and flossing; is there plaque below the gums; how much time will it take to thoroughly do a dental cleaning. A dental cleaning for a patient with only three teeth will not cost the same as a patient with full mouth of teeth who has poor dental hygiene. You can book a consultation with the doctor or hygienist who can have a look to see how much time will be required to do a cleaning.