Plaque is a major contributor to oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease, but many people don’t know what it is or how it forms. Today, we’ll examine the mechanisms behind plaque production and identify some of the foods you should avoid if you want to minimize it.
What Causes Plaque Build-Up?
Contrary to popular belief, nothing you eat directly causes plaque to form in your mouth. Instead, the foods you eat feed the bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria break your food down into carbohydrates and eat them. After feeding, they excrete acids that mix with the remaining carbohydrates to form plaque.
Even people with exceptionally healthy diets have some plaque in their mouths, which is why it’s important for everyone to brush and floss regularly. However, some foods generate more plaque than others. Let’s take a look at a few of them below.
4 Foods That Contribute to Plaque Build-Up
Sugary Drinks Like Fruit Juice and Soda
When it comes to plaque build-up, sugary drinks are some of the worst culprits. They often leave your teeth coated in sticky sugars that for the bacteria in your mouth to feast on all day. Sip these drinks through a straw and swish with water after consuming them to minimize their impact on your oral health.
Starchy Foods like Potatoes and Corn
High-starch foods are easy for bacteria to break down, making them big contributors to plaque build-up. To help with this problem, try replacing some of your starches with cruciferous vegetables like carrots and broccoli. These veggies not only generate less plaque but can actually help scrape some of the plaque off your teeth if you eat them raw.
Floury Foods like Bread, Crackers, and Pasta
Flour is another ingredient that bacteria love to feast on. Foods like crackers and bread also tend to stick in your teeth and prolong the time the bacteria have to feed. The good news is that whole wheat versions of these foods take longer to break down, making them a better choice if you want to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth.
Sugary Treats Like Candy, Cookies, and Cakes
This might be the least surprising inclusion on this list, but it’s important to remember that junk food really is bad for your teeth. Eat them in moderation and brush your teeth after enjoying them to minimize plaque accumulation.
Don’t Let Plaque Get You Down
While we should all strive to make good dietary choices whenever possible, you’ll never be completely free from plaque. That’s why it’s important to keep up your oral hygiene routine and see our friendly dental team here at Coscarella Family Dentistry. Contact us today to book an appointment for a cleaning and get the plaque in your mouth under control.