You might already know that you need to brush your teeth twice every day because it reduces the bad bacteria in your mouth, removes food debris and stains from teeth, and prevents halitosis. But you might not be aware of the most important reason for brushing regularly: biofilm. Dr. James DeFinnis, a Trucksville, PA, dentist, would like you to learn about dental biofilm so that you can understand why regular brushing is so important.
What is Biofilm and Why Should You Remove It?
Dental biofilm is composed of layers upon layers of bacteria, and the process of biofilm formation constantly repeats itself in our mouths. The bacteria to attach to teeth during biofilm formation are Streptococcus and Actinomyces, which are both non-pathogens. This first layer of bacteria does not cause periodontitis (severe gum disease) but actually benefits oral health by contributing to healthy gums.
Though the “early colonizers” are helpful, when you leave biofilm on your teeth you allow more harmful layers of bacteria build up. The last bacteria layer that sticks to dental biofilm cause periodontitis. While those bacteria are constantly floating around in your mouth, they do not cause problems until they attach to the outer layer of your gums.
How Does Brushing Protect Your Teeth?
Brushing bacteria away prevents them from causing harm. The bad bacteria do not become dominant until between three and 12 weeks after they initially cling to mouth surfaces. If you are genetically susceptible to periodontitis, you can easily develop the condition after the bad bacteria become dominant.
When you brush your teeth and gums thoroughly, twice a day for at least two minutes, you are restarting the process of biofilm formation. Good oral hygiene will encourage the growth of good bacteria and prevent the development of gum disease.
Dr. DeFinnis is dedicated to protecting your dental health. Our Trucksville, PA, dental practice provides preventive and general dentistry to residents in Scranton, PA, Wilkes Barre, PA, and surrounding areas.