What are Plaque Bugs?

Plaque Bugs are a type of Germ that live in everyone's mouth. When you get older you will hear them called "Bacteria". But for now it's just fine to think of Plaque Bugs as Families of Germs, with Youngies and Oldies and Baby Bugs too.

Old Plaque Bugs

What is the Old-Plaque Problem?

We think Plaque Bugs are not that bad really. How can they be Totally Bad when they are just a normal part of our mouths? But like most kids (even You, maybe?), Plaque Bugs can be Bad sometimes – we call this the Old-Plaque Problem. The Problem with Old Plaque happens when you have too many Plaque Bugs and their Families get Too Old. This may take only a day or so, and it gives us a big clue about how to fix the problem as you will see below.

Two old Plaque bugs on a bench


What is the Sugar Problem?

Just like Plaque Bugs, Sugar is not all bad – it is important to have Some Sugar for energy, and many people think it tastes great too. However, several Bad Health Problems can happen when we have More Sugar Than We Really Need. In the case of Plaque Bugs, Sugar causes two big problems. First, Sugar is Great Food for Plaque Bugs – and with plenty of Sugary Food, the Plaque Bugs get big rapidly and soon have lots of babies. Second, Plaque Bugs use Sugar as a Building Block – and with plenty of Sugary Building Blocks, they soon make big Plaque Cities where their families can live. Plaque Cities are the White Furry Stuff you may have felt on your teeth sometimes (if you ever forgot to brush them that is!!).

Plaque Bugs and the Sugar problem

What is the Plaque-Toilet Problem?

Now while it's a bit Yukky, you really do have to think about the next step in this story!! So, can you guess what happens after the Plaque Bugs have eaten lots of Sugary Food? Yep, they have to Go to the Toilet!! This is No Problemo when there are only a few Plaque Bugs because their Waste Products are Teensy-Weensy compared with the huge amount of Saliva passing through your mouth all the time – the Bug Waste just gets flushed away.

But big problems can happen to your Toothys and Gums if the Plaque Cities are allowed to grow old. If you think of your Gums as a Life Preserver wrapped tightly around Toothy's neck, you can easily imagine how the Bug Waste gets trapped in a Moat. With lots of Busy Plaque Bugs, this Moat can soon become a Rather Unpleasant Place. Not only might it be a bit Stinky, it can also be Damaging to your Teeth and Gums. You may hear adults referring to these problems as Bad Breath, Tooth Decay and Gum Disease.

Old Plaque CitiesClose up of Plaque MoatExtreme Close Up

Two Easy Answers for Plaque Bugs!

Now that You know what the Problems are, it is easy to understand how to fix them. One answer is to keep the Plaque Families small, by Not Feeding Them Too Much Sugar. The other answer is to Sweep the Plaque Cities Away, by cleaning your Teeth and Gums well. And remember, because Plaque Bugs are a normal part of your mouth, they will always grow back if you let them – this is why your Mouth Cleaning has to be a regular habit. It only takes one day for Plaque Cities to grow old, so clean your mouth twice a day, please! If you manage to keep your Plaque Bugs young and living in Small Villages, or better still on Desert Islands, then you will have a Healthy Mouth that looks Spick and Span and smells great too.

To learn more about "How To Do Good Mouth Cleaning", Grab a Grown Up and visit our Homecare Section.

Answer One Answer Two


Take me back to "My Tooth is a Wee Bit Wonky"