Have you ever allowed a cup of hot chocolate to sit too long and it forms a thick film at the very top? How about the slimy film that forms in fish tanks that need to be cleaned or on rocks in a stream of water? Although you may have never heard of the term “dental biofilm”, you are most certainly familiar with it. Just like the examples of the hot chocolate, fish tank, or rocks, teeth that haven’t been properly cleaned form a noticeable coating on them comprising of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in a vast microbial community.
What is Dental Biofilm?
Dental biofilms, also called dental plaque, attach to living and nonliving surfaces such as a root of a tooth, soft tissues like the cheeks and tongue, or a dental implant. They thrive in the gum pockets surrounding your teeth which can lead to gingivitis and gum disease, also known as periodontitis.
There is also cavity-causing kind of microbes depending on what type of bacteria inhabit your oral cavity. There are roughly over 600 species of bacteria, however, not all of them are disease-causing. In health, they form a symbiotic relationship with the human host.
Maintaining a Healthy Oral Hygiene
But what happens if you don’t brush AND remove the dental plaque/biofilm in between your teeth, and visit your dental office on a regular basis? If the oral biofilm is not disrupted daily, bacteria matures and gives off toxins in the oral cavity which can result in bleeding gums, inflammation and eventually can cause periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is treatable and reversible. Periodontal disease means you have bone loss and is not reversible but can be maintained with proper dental care. With regular dental cleanings, brushing and flossing, water flossing, or other inter-proximal cleaning aids, you can maintain a healthy oral environment.
How to Remove Dental Plaque Biofilm
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush for at least two minutes 2 to 3 times a day can help remove plaque on your teeth. Biofilm can hide on your teeth as well as your gum line, therefore setting a timer can help ensure you brush all areas of your mouth.
Using a short back and forth stroke, or little circles to clean the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of your teeth will help prevent dental biofilm formation.
Flossing Your Teeth
Although brushing your teeth is a great way to prevent the formation of plaque and dental biofilm, flossing your teeth will fully remove bacteria in your mouth. Floss, flossers, interdental brushes, water flossers, or other interdental cleaners will help you clean hard to brush areas in your mouth such as between your teeth and underneath gumlines.
If you wear braces, consult with your dentist about alternative flossing methods, or have them show you how to properly floss with braces.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Lastly, professional dental cleanings are the most effective form of plaque removal. It is possible for bacteria and plaque to remain on your teeth even if you brush and floss regularly. This can result in oral health issues such as gum disease. Therefore, as a general rule of thumb, visit your dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning. If you suffer from poor oral health, we suggest more frequent dental office visits.
A dental professional will be able to carefully remove plaque and tartar with special instruments. At the conclusion of your visit, your dentist will also floss between your teeth and underneath the gumlines in order to eliminate any hidden plaque.
Advanced Cleaning Technology for Controlling Biofilm
At All Smiles Family Dentistry, we take your oral care and dental biofilm cleaning to the next level. We offer advanced technology by AIRFLOW Prophlaxis Master, which utilizes erythritol powder. It is combined with air and water to remove plaque biofilm and stains. Erythritol is a minimally abrasive powder whose characteristics include anti-cavity, anti-biofilm and anti-oxidant. It possesses great antimicrobial properties by preventing biofilm from adhering to the tooth surface. Your teeth feel amazingly smooth and appear brighter after one use. Give us a call today to schedule your professional dental cleaning for a healthier brighter smile!
Additional Reading: Guided Biofilm Therapy
Straighten Your Teeth in Omaha, NE at All Smiles Family Dentistry
At All Smiles Family Dentistry, we are proud to provide high-quality care to all our patients both young and old thanks to our compassionate and experienced dental team. We offer a clean and comfortable clinic to help you feel relaxed during your visit. Contact All Smiles Family Dentist or schedule an appointment online.