Do you wake up in the morning with that fuzzy feeling on your teeth?

That’ll be plaque. It’s a term dentists like to throw around a lot, and that’s because it’s one of the major causes of tooth and gum damage.

So what exactly is plaque?

Put simply, plaque, also called biofilm, is a build-up of bacteria on your teeth.

A more detailed description is that plaque is the thin layer of saliva, bacteria and food that clings to the teeth.

When plaque first form, we can rid it simply with brushing and flossing. Easy.

However once it sits for a while, either in a hard-to-reach spot or due to bad brushing habits, it hardens into tartar, which sticks to your teeth and continues to damage them.

Excessive plaque. How do we know we have it?

You can’t see plaque, but there are ways you can tell if you have an excessive amount. Look for any of the following warning signs:- Your teeth feel slimy or fuzzy when you touch them with your tongue.- You have bad breath.- Your gums are sore or bleed when you brush or floss.- Your dentist needs to spend extra time scaling away the tartar deposits.- You get cavities frequently.

Ok, so what can we do about it?

Regular brushing and flossing will be your mouth’s best friend and a visit to your dentist and hygienist every six months will make sure your oral health is on track.

Head over and read our Ultimate guide to Brushing and Flossing for all the tips.