Plaque and tartar can both wreak havoc on your child’s teeth, but which is which? Keep reading to learn more about the difference between plaque and tartar and find out how to keep their mouths clean and healthy.
Plaque is constantly forming inside everyone’s mouth. It is a thin, clear, sticky film of bacteria that coats the teeth and the rest of the mouth. Although plaque is constantly forming inside our mouths, it is easy to remove. Rinsing and brushing will remove plaque relatively easily.
If plaque stays in the mouth, it can promote the formation of acid, which damages enamel (the outer layer of the teeth). The bacteria in plaque can also lead to gum disease, infections, and tooth decay.
If plaque is left in your child’s mouth for too long, it combines with minerals in saliva to form a calculus called tartar. Tartar, like plaque contains bacteria that can damage teeth, but unlike plaque, tartar is very difficult to remove. Tartar is a hard, crusty, yellowish substance that forms on teeth and gums. It can often be found near the base of the tooth. Tartar traps bacteria in your mouth and leads to many of the same oral health problems as plaque—it can lead to infection, gingivitis, cavities, tooth decay, and other long term problems. Because tartar is very hard, it cannot be removed by brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth. If there is tartar on you child’s teeth, he will have to have them professionally cleaned by a dentist.
Protecting Your Child’s Oral Health
If you want to protect your child’s oral health, start healthy habits now and help them keep plaque and tartar off of their teeth. Brushing after each meal and drinking water throughout the day to rinse out your mouth can help. It is also important to have your child floss at least once every single day to keep their gums healthy and the spaces in between their teeth clean.
Do you have questions about your child’s oral health? Give us a call at (855) 422-0224 . We’re here to help.