Children and adults both know that it is important to brush and floss the teeth after every meal to prevent cavities and gum disease. But did you know about the other problem that can develop that can impact oral health? The dentists of Park View Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics encourage children to learn more about oral health care and discuss the development of plaque.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky film that can development on the surfaces of the teeth and gums. This film can get under the gum line, stick to dental work, and coat your teeth with bacteria that can lead to cavities and periodontal disease. The key to removing plaque is not only to keep the smile healthy, but to avoid the hardening into tartar. Tartar, or “calculus,” is hard and porous. It can only be removed with a dentist’s special instruments. It is best to keep tartar from forming as it too can contribute to the development of disease and receding gum tissues.
Tips for controlling plaque (and tartar)
- The key to taking care of the smile and avoiding the development of plaque is to take the steps to clean the teeth properly at home. Children and adults should be brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, and flossing at least once a day, preferably in the evening.
- Use a tartar-control toothpaste that integrates fluoride, an ingredient that can help in repairing enamel damage. Look for a substance known as triclosan which can also help in fighting the bacteria that develops with plaque.
- Rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and reduce the risk of periodontal disease and cavities.
- Eat a diet with proper nutrition. Children have a tendency to gravitate towards sodas and candy that can greatly increase the development of plaque and other harmful acids on the surfaces of the teeth and gums. Instead, children should make healthy choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to maintain a healthy smile.
Stop the build-up of plaque in your smile!
Children who are not following good oral health habits or have not established a routine with brushing and flossing may be putting their smile at risk of plaque development. We encourage patients in the New York, NY area to obtain quality education on pediatric dental care by scheduling their children with the staff at Park View Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. Call (212) 879-6518 today to schedule your visit at our facility, conveniently located in Suite 303 at 800A Fifth Avenue.