What is Tartar?

Tartar is also called calculus and is caused by plaque on teeth building up. Teeth Plaque contains many different types of bacteria which will attack the tooth surfaces and the gums. Sometimes plaque teeth is visible as a white layer over the surface of the tooth, and it’s possible to feel a sticky film which gradually builds up over the course of the day. It’s important that plaque on teeth is removed as otherwise it can harden into tartar, a substance that can only be scraped away by a dentist during a professional dental cleaning. Anyone can develop tartar, including very young children and babies. This is why it’s so important to ensure you keep baby teeth meticulously clean.

see: how to remove plaque from teeth

Looking after Baby Teeth

As pediatric dentists, we often get asked how often should you brush a baby’s teeth and when should you brush a baby’s teeth. In fact we recommend oral care begins even before a baby gets their first tooth as you can begin wiping the gums with a clean washcloth or dampened piece of gauze after each feeding. This helps get them into the routine of having their mouth cleaned. As soon as the first tooth erupts it must be brushed regularly. The best time to do this is first thing in the morning and last thing at night after they have just fed. This helps ensure their mouth is as clean as possible overnight when we produce less saliva. A drier environment helps bacteria thrive.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Baby Teeth?

If you fail to clean baby teeth then you’ll quickly begin to notice tartar on your kid’s teeth or it will be detected by your pediatric dentist. Toddler tartar is no joke and can easily cause tooth decay and gum disease. Childhood tooth decay can be painful and unpleasant for children, even more so if they are too young to communicate why they are in pain. If you want to avoid tartar buildup on baby teeth then please ask us for help and instructions on how to look after their teeth. We recommend all parents book their child’s first dental visit by age 1 or as soon as they get that first tooth. Early dental care is the best way to ensure your child’s teeth remain healthy and strong and that any potential problems are detected as soon as possible.

When a baby is born they don’t have any bad or harmful oral bacteria but will quickly get them from their caregiver or parent. Kissing a baby or wiping a pacifier before handing it back to them are all good ways to help transfer bacteria from parent to child. This is just about unavoidable but making sure your oral health is the best it can be reduces the number of bad bacteria in your mouth, reducing the rate of transmission.