Dental Tips to Remove Plaque at Home

A checkup with a dentist every six months is important, but it isn’t enough to keep your child’s teeth healthy. That’s where you come in! To keep your child’s smile in tip-top shape, it’s essential you encourage healthy habits at home.

Here’s what you need to know about fighting plaque between dentist visits:

What Is Plaque?

Plaque is a soft, sticky film that’s packed full of bacteria. Over time, the bacteria in plaque cause tooth decay and gum disease by converting sugar into harmful acid.

Tartar, or dental calculus, is plaque that’s had time to calcify. Like soft plaque, tartar can destroy enamel and cause gum disease.

Why Does Plaque Need to Be Removed?

Plaque and tartar attack tooth enamel, and the longer the attack lasts, the weaker enamel becomes. If left untreated, plaque and tartar can cause serious damage to the teeth and gums, which can lead to cavities to gingivitis.

How to Remove Plaque at Home

Technique, frequency, and consistency. When it comes to brushing and flossing, you need all three. Keeping up with healthy brushing and flossing habits is the most effective way to keep plaque under control between dentist visits.

Here are some tips for removing plaque at home:

    • Check your child’s toothbrush size. Young children should be using smaller toothbrushes to fit their little mouths and hands.
    • Replace toothbrushes every three to four months, and after every bout of the cold or flu.
    • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste each time your child brushes. Let your child choose a flavor they enjoy.
    • Encourage your child to brush each tooth, front and back, at a 45-degree angle using short, circular strokes.

Don’t forget the tongue, roof, and sides of the mouth!

  • Set a timer to ensure adequate brushing, or choose a toothbrush that plays a two-minute song while brushing.
  • Floss between every pair of teeth using a gentle, back-and-forth motion.
  • Limit sugary treats.

Routine cleanings by a dentist every six months will help remove any remaining plaque, so find a Kool Smiles Kids Club partner dentist for your appointment today!