What is Materia alba?
Materia alba is a soft chalky white deposit on the tooth surface primarily composed of bacteria, salivary proteins, epithelial cells, and food debris. It is not a well-organized structure like dental plaque.
Materia alba can be viewed through the naked eye and is soft enough to easily remove at home with water spray and regular tooth brushing.
What is the difference between Plaque and Materia alba?
Plaque is a more complex and well-organized structure that tightly adheres to the tooth surface and it can be only cleaned with proper flossing and toothbrushing, (flossing first before brushing teeth is recommended) while Materia alba is just soft deposits primarily composed of bacteria, salivary proteins, epithelial cells, and food debris.