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Plaque, Tartar and the Difference Between the Two

Young woman brushing teethMany people use the words ‘plaque’ and ‘tartar’ interchangeably when asking about the bacteria or buildup on their teeth. Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry puts a strong emphasis on patient education and we want to help you learn the difference between these two harmful substances so that you can better care for your child’s oral health.

What Parents Should Know About Plaque

Plaque is a clear and sticky substance that is always forming on your teeth, through the day and the night. Your child’s saliva combines with the sugar and food particles to form plaque, which is the residue that makes your teeth feel sticky and dirty between brushing.

Plaque can begin to form just a few short hours after brushing and will build up until your child can brush again. This is why it’s so important to be brushing at least twice a day. It’s essential to prevent this buildup as often as possible to keep your child’s smile healthy and beautiful.

What Parents Should Know About Tartar

If you don’t remove the plaque buildup thoroughly and regularly, it will harden into a substance known as tartar. Tartar is plaque that hasn’t been removed in time, has hardened, and is unable to be removed without professional help. Your child’s toothbrush will not be enough to remove tartar buildup. As it progresses, tartar becomes more and more difficult to remove.

Everyone has plaque buildup on his or her teeth. The key to keeping your child’s teeth healthy is following a strict oral hygiene routine at home. Not only do you need to make sure your kids are brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, but it’s important to make they’re brushing for at least two minutes at a time. This way, the plaque is being removed on a regular basis and completely thoroughly.

For any questions on how to help your children maintain a healthy smile, or to make an appointment for your kids to receive a dental cleaning and exam, please contact Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry here in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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