It is important that parents understand terms such as plaque, tartar, and how they can be prevented or at least minimized in their children's teeth. Parents need to work with their children and pediatric dentist in order to maintain their children's good oral health.
Plaque is the soft, sticky film that covers the teeth and eventually becomes tartar. It is made up of bacteria and micro food particles that begin to release acids that wear down the enamel, the outer covering of the teeth. Plaque starts to form as a natural occurrence four to twelve hours after brushing. Tartar is a hard, crusty deposit that forms when plaque mineralizes on your child's teeth. Only a dental professional can remove tartar.
Plaque can be reduced, both by diet and dental care. This is where you come in as a parent. Sugary foods and beverages, such as candy, cookies, soda, and starchy foods such as bread and crackers can all cause plaque build-up and acids to form. As we mentioned, those acids wear down the teeth and eventually lead to cavities and tooth decay. If you get a chance, check out our blog about how sugar affects children's teeth.
Dr. Frank Sierra advises that parent's help their children to maintain healthy teeth by:
- Visiting their dentist twice a year.
- Brushing and flossing at least twice a day.
- Spending two minutes in brushing and flossing each time.
Our pediatric dentists and staff are committed to helping your child enjoy healthy teeth throughout their childhood and work with you to help them build a strong foundation for a lifetime of oral health. To set up an appointment in North or South Tampa, Clearwater, Seminole, or Town & Country, just fill out or online form. We don't require a referral for an appointment.