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You probably learned about dental hygiene habits as a child. As an adult, you may have some questions that went unanswered. We are here to help! Here are some frequently asked questions about bacteria and plaque.

What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky film that collects on teeth and gums. It is actually made of the bacteria that live in your mouth. Plaque should be removed every day by brushing and flossing your teeth. Brush twice a day for 2 minutes each time, and floss once a day for 2-3 minutes.

The bacteria in your mouth eat sugars present in food. They then create an acidic byproduct that eats away at tooth enamel. Thus, plaque and bacteria need to be removed regularly.

What is tartar?
Tartar is hardened plaque. Tartar should only be removed by your dentist, as she can remove it without damaging enamel and gum tissue. Tartar forms both above and below the gumline. It contributes heavily to gum disease and cavity formation. Visit your dentist twice a year to reduce or eliminate tartar formation.

To schedule an appointment in Lexington Park, Maryland, call Pax Dental at 301-863-8822. Dr. Hawkins and our team are happy to help keep your smile healthy and strong!