Plaque is an unpleasant, sticky bio-film, usually yellowish in color, within which bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) usually proliferate. Plaque may be quite resistant to even vigorous brushing, as it is bonded to the enamel of the teeth. Plaque usually begins as a sticky colorless deposit, but if left unchecked, can develop into tartar, and then it grows pale yellow or brown. Plaque is commonly found on chewing surfaces and along the gum line. Plaque can also degenerate into tooth decay. It is important to get rid of plaque and adopt healthy oral habits as soon as possible, as plaque can grow acidic with time, causing dental caries which occurs as a result of dental demineralization. The plaque then hardens into tartar or dental calculus which can only be removed by special professional cleaning. To actually prevent the build-up of plaque in the first place, ensure the adoption of a healthy oral lifestyle. Since plaque is caused by bacterial breakdown of food bits left in the mouth for extended periods of time, regular brushing of the teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste and a good toothbrush twice a day, in conjunction with regular flossing can go a long way in helping to prevent plaque and the embarrassing conditions it leads to like tartar or dental calculus. It is also quite important to pay periodic visits to your personal dentist for proper examination and professional cleaning of the teeth. While the teeth are strong and seem impenetrable, they are actually one of the most sensitive and vulnerable parts of the body which are susceptible to infections and should, therefore, be properly taken care of. Early detection of plaque formation, like in the case of most dental diseases can greatly assist in treatment, especially if calculus has not begun to form yet. Your dentist may also recommend special toothpaste to help get rid of plaque or tartar. Finally, make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly for a healthy, beautiful smile.