SCIENCE

How to get rid of plaque without brushing or flossing

DoseBiome

Take a cotton swab, dab it in some food coloring and smear it onto your teeth. If your pearly whites remain pearly and white, give yourself a pat on the back for your excellent oral hygiene. If, on the other hand, you see patches of color on your teeth, it might be time to reach for the floss and toothbrush because you have plaque!

Oral health products are often touted for their ability to get rid of plaque but just what is plaque and why is it so bad?

Dental plaque is made up of bacteria encased in a protective sugary matrix stuck to the surface of teeth. In science parlance, these communities of bacteria are known as biofilms. Many of the disease-causing oral bacteria embrace this type of sedentary tooth-bound lifestyle, which explains why plaque buildup can be detrimental to oral health. These microbes take the sugars leftover from the food and drink we consume and ferment them into acid. With repeated and prolonged exposure, acid can damage tooth enamel, putting you at risk of tooth decay and cavities. Dental plaque is a major contributor to this problem because not only does it allow these acid-producing microbes to adhere to teeth, but its stickiness also traps the acid against the tooth surfaces.

Left untreated, plaque can harden to become tartar. When plaque and tartar form at the gum line, the infection can cause your gums to turn red and swollen. This inflammation is the first sign of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Over time the microbes can start to attack the soft tissues and bone supporting your teeth leading to advanced gum disease or periodontis.    

The best way to prevent gum disease is by removing plaque and tartar buildup and the most effective way to do that is by flossing and brushing your teeth regularly. While most of us endeavor to floss and brush our teeth at least once a day, doing so can be a challenge when you’re at work or on the go. Let’s face it, bathroom run-ins with the guy from the office next door are awkward enough without you having a mouthful of toothpaste.

That’s where qii comes in. The first drink of its kind, qii is an easy and effective way to keep plaque formation to a minimum between brushings. In laboratory tests, qii reduced the amount of harmful acid-producing bacteria in biofilms by up to 52%. It also prevented the growth of disease-causing oral microbes, including the ones responsible for causing bad breath.

qii owes its plaque punching powers to the beneficial compounds in tea and XyVita, the uniquely formulated xylitol-based sweetener. The harmful oral microbes that cause cavities and gum disease prefer simple sugars like glucose and fructose because they can easily digest those carbs and turn them into acid. Xylitol and XyVita, on the other hand, do not support the growth of these dangerous microbes because they are non-fermentable sugars. This means that they cannot be broken down by bacteria to produce enamel-eroding acid. By combining the proven antibacterial properties of tea with the benefits of XyVita, qii delivers a one-two punch to keep bad oral bacteria in check and reduce plaque buildup.

Betty Zou, Ph D.

Scientist turned science writer and communicator. I turn complex scientific concepts and studies into clear and engaging content for diverse lay audiences. Previous work include blog posts, news articles and releases, patient and customer profiles, feature length stories, donor reports and marketing materials. My areas of expertise are molecular biology, microbiology and microbiome-related topics but I have also written extensively about other health and medicine topics such as cancer, cardiology and trauma.

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