What is plaque?

Plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It makes teeth feel "fuzzy" to the tongue and is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed.

What causes plaque and why is it harmful?

Plaque develops when foods that contain carbohydrates (sugars and starches), such as milk, soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy, are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods and produce acids. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Plaque can also develop on the tooth roots under the gum and cause breakdown of the bone supporting the tooth.

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