Minimizing Plaque Biofilm in the New Year

Going into the New Year it’s important to make it a priority to keep plaque levels in check. Biofilm is the beginning layer of plaque which begins to cover our teeth as soon as four hours after a professional dental cleaning. Plaque is mostly comprised of bacteria. Everyone has friendly “host” bacteria and due to genetics many people also harbor destructive bacteria surrounding their teeth and gingival (gumline) tissues. When homecare (brushing and flossing) has been neglected the destructive bacteria become opportunistic and develop their own ecosystem using gingival tissue surrounding our natural teeth and dental implants as nourishment. This is what is happening when our dentist or hygienist tells us that they see inflammation along the gumline of teeth and/or dental implants. Natural teeth and implants are then susceptible to both infection and bone loss that is created during the process of this inflammation.

Ideally we recommend that our patients brush two times per day and floss once per day. For most people brushing is best done with an automatic toothbrush for a two minute time period. Two minutes of *effective brushing successfully removes the soft sticky plaque that builds along the gumline of our teeth and implants. *Effective meaning that the toothbrush bristles touch gumline areas inside of our mouths as well as teeth and implants.

We recommend an ultra soft toothbrush for all of our patients whether they have just had surgery or not. The reason an ultra soft toothbrush is effective in cleaning our teeth and implants is that everyday biofilm/plaque is very soft and sticky. When we brush twice daily and floss once daily we can help maintain the health of our gingival tissues around natural teeth and implants.