How Removing Plaque Buildup Improves Oral Health

Have you ever heard of plaque? A bacterial byproduct, this sticky material poses a serious risk to the health of smiles of all ages. In today’s blog, your El Paso, TX, dentists will look at how removing this buildup from your smile can improve oral health and prevent serious complications, such as gum disease. Find out how removing plaque buildup through a dental cleaning can help your smile!

Plaque Buildup and Poor Oral Health

When we consume foods high in sugar and starch, or enjoy drinks with a high sugar content, we leave behind particles on and between our teeth. If we don’t properly clean our smiles, then bacteria will begin to consume these particles. As bacteria break down food these particles of sugar and starch, they increase oral acidity and begin to coat the teeth in a sticky buildup known as plaque. Over time, these layers can begin to weaken tooth enamel, allowing erosion to take place and exposing the sensitive inner structure to harmful bacteria, allowing cavities and infections to form. This buildup also irritates and inflames the gum tissue, leading to gingivitis in kids and teens, and gum disease in adults.

Dental Cleanings

If you cut back on sugary foods and drinks, and also take time to properly brush and floss every day, you limit how much plaque can form. However, this doesn’t remove the buildup that has already formed. In fact, a routine dental cleaning is the only way to remove plaque and tartar. Every six months, we suggest kids and adults alike see us for a cleaning. Using an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool, we will remove the deposits from the teeth. Afterward, we will polish the teeth as well. When you leave the office you have bright teeth, fresher breath, and a reduced risk of cavities and gum disease. For children, these routine visits should start at around age two.

Scaling and Root Planings

What if your buildup is severe, and has caused gingivitis or the early stages of gum disease? Then you may need a deep cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing. The procedure not only removes buildup from the teeth, but also the root surfaces as well. The procedure can be completed in one visit, or may take up to four if the buildup is substantial. Afterward, we may suggest more frequent cleanings, such as every three to four months, to prevent inflammation and manage gum disease.


At Sunny Smiles in El Paso, TX, we can offer preventive care to maintain healthy smiles for patients of all ages. If you have questions about keeping your smile clean, then please call our East El Paso location on N. Zaragoza Road at 915-849-9000!