Plaque/Tartar

Plaque on kids teeth is the first sign of tooth decay. Tartar in kids teeth is a sign that you need to schedule an appointment with the best pediatric dentist, like those at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry — in Woodbridge, New Jersey, in Harlem, NY and on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. These experienced dentists know how to identify and remove plaque and tartar before they lead to serious gum disease. Call the dental professionals today to keep your kids’ smiles bright and healthy.
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What Is Plaque?

Plaque is a soft sticky film that forms on the enamel of teeth. If left untreated, plaque damages the hard enamel and penetrates to the inner dentin and pulp, causing tooth pain. In such circumstances, more expensive and aggressive dental treatments like a crown or a pulp treatment may be needed.

For some kids, tooth decay occurs even if you are fastidious with your children’s preventative dentistry routine. In these cases, your kids may require more extreme restorative treatments, such as a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction to preserve their oral health.

Bacteria is the culprit behind plaque on kids teeth. Most often in kids, bacteria feed off food and drink left on the teeth, producing acids that compromise the enamel layer. In baby teeth, the enamel is still hardening, and so bacteria can do more damage more quickly. Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry advocates for regular dental check-ups that remedy problems caught early, using white fillings that are BPA-free. The practice has offices in Woodbridge, NJ, in Harlem, NY and on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It provides safe and dedicated services, including:

How Can I Tell if My Kids Have Plaque or Tartar?

Plaque is the initial stage of decay, where there’s white sticky deposits on the crown of the teeth. Tartar in kids teeth is the advanced, more serious form of plaque. You may even notice a hardened, calcified form of plaque deposits. If the plaque on kids teeth isn’t effectively removed, it hardens within 24 to 72 hours to form tartar.

There is a higher chance for plaque and tarter for misaligned, crooked or spaced-out teeth. When your kids eat after plaque forms, additional food particles get stuck to the plaque, aggravating the problem. Teeth start getting yellow and maybe even spotted with brown. This tooth discoloration  for many kids is so severe that your pediatric dentist may recommend teeth whitening.

For both plaque and tartar in kids teeth, the symptoms are the same and include:

Red or swollen gums

Tender or bleeding gums

Trouble chewing food

Throbbing pain in teeth

Premature loss of baby teeth

Receding gums

How Do Dentists Remove Plaque and Tartar?

Plaque is best removed by the dental professionals at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. If you notice plaque or tartar in kids teeth, a visit to your pediatric dentist is compulsory. Any delay in removing the calcified tartar leads to consequences like gingivitis. The most common practice is for the dentist or hygienist to scrape the area clean, focusing especially below the gum line. Once all the plaque and tartar has been removed, your teeth are polished.

Removing plaque on kids teeth with braces is tricky. Metal braces make brushing and flossing a challenge. It’s best to regularly visit your trusted pediatric dentist for dental cleanings and fluoride varnish treatments. Your child may need other forms of dental work, especially if they haven’t kept up a practice of oral hygiene. Such treatments may include:

  • Fillings. Any decayed tooth tissue needs to be removed to preserve the teeth. Once the decayed part has been removed, the cavity is filled with dental fillings.
  • Dental sealants. Cavities form due to plaque build-up. After the shallow holes on the surface of the teeth have been repaired, the dentist may recommend a dental sealant to further protect the teeth.
  • Bruxism prevention. The habit of grinding, clenching or gnashing teeth damages the enamel, making it susceptible to bacteria and plaque. Mouth guards to combat bruxism while sleeping ensures your kids’ teeth remain healthy.
  • Dental bonding. Whether from an accident that involved facial trauma or because teeth grew in too small, sometimes there are large gaps between teeth. Bonding fills in the gaps so your children’s smiles look fuller.

How Can I Prevent Tartar in Kids Teeth?

Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day is the best method to prevent plaque on kids teeth. Plaque build-up is an inescapable problem, however. Reducing the intake of sugar may help. Avoid giving your child a bottle of milk or juice while they are lying down, as this may further corrode the enamel. Finally, don’t neglect visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

Dental caries have been observed in 42 percent of young children in the US. The friendly staff at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry — in Woodbridge, NJ and in Manhattan, NY — makes your child feel safe and content from your first visit to the office. Keep every dental appointment so your child maintains the beautiful smile, from baby teeth to permanent teeth. Contact them today.

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