Prevent Plaque Buildup

Did you know? Bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars in the foods you eat. When you don’t brush or floss well, or have your teeth cleaned professionally, you’re leaving cavity-causing plaque on your teeth.

  • Magnified dental plaque on tooth - slideshow

    Plaque Bacteria

    Plaque bacteria in your mouth (shown in yellow on the magnified tooth on the left) feed on the sugars in the foods you eat. If plaque is not effectively removed it hardens, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Click 'next' for tips to prevent plaque buildup.

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    Tooth Decay
    Gum Disease
  • Woman Brushing Teeth with Electric Toothbrush

    Take care of your mouth

    Brush twice a day—in the morning after breakfast and in the evening before bed.

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    Tips for Better Brushing
    Toothbrush Tips
  • Woman holding dental floss - slideshow

    Clean between your teeth

    Floss daily to remove food and plaque buildup between your teeth.

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    Why do I need to floss? (Video)
  • Chocolate cake - slideshow

    Limit the amount of sugar in your diet and how often you eat

    Sugar-filled foods provide the ideal fuel for plaque to grow as does grazing or drinking (anything other than water) throughout the day.

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    Healthy Food Choices
  • Dental exam - slideshow

    Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and an exam

    No matter how well you brush and floss, you will still have some plaque buildup. Schedule regular dental visits to remove plaque and for an exam to catch any dental issues early.

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    Visiting Your Dentist
    Find a Dentist