A biofilm starts to form in your mouth right after you get finished brushing. Brushing keeps the film at a minimum, but the biofilm keeps growing back, so it's a constant battle. Biofilm is a mass of bacteria that spreads and forms a slimy coating on your teeth, gums, and tongue. Here's how this film affects your teeth and how you can control it with the help of your dentist.
Biofilm Is Controlled With Brushing
A more common name for the film that forms on your teeth is plaque. Plaque is made up of millions of bacteria, and it's fueled by sugar in the food you eat. Not all the bacteria are bad, but some of them create acid that can eat away at your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Plus, all that bacteria can cause bad breath. Regular brushing gets rid of a great deal of the biofilm in your mouth. You have to be thorough at brushing and use the proper oral care products for the best results.
Your dentist can recommend dental cleaning products for you to use if you want to make sure you do the best job at removing plaque from your mouth. In addition to brushing, you should floss. You may even want to use a water flosser to make sure you get between teeth well.
Cleaning your tongue is an important step in reducing the biofilm in your mouth as well. You can buy a tongue scraper for this purpose. A tongue scraper usually has rough edges so bacteria can be scraped out of the uneven surface of your tongue. By keeping the film cleaned off your tongue, you might notice you can taste foods better and that you have fewer problems with bad breath.
Hardened Biofilm Is Removed With Dental Cleaning
When plaque isn't completely removed, it can harden into tartar. Once tartar has formed, it has to be removed with a dental cleaning since regular brushing won't get it off. This is why seeing your dentist on a regular schedule is important. Tartar has a yellowish color, so when it's removed, your teeth look cleaner. Plus, your teeth feel smooth and clean. When tartar isn't removed, you can develop gum disease which can lead to infections and tooth loss.
Even if you brush and floss often, it isn't possible to eliminate a biofilm permanently. However, certain habits can make the film grow back more quickly. Eating sugary foods and drinking sweet drinks creates a welcoming environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. In addition to good oral care and seeing your dentist regularly, eat a healthy diet and avoid smoking to keep your teeth in good health.