Plaque is a sticky coating that forms on teeth, gums, tongue, dental fillings, dentures, and crowns due to an accumulation of bacteria. Tartar is a hardened and calcified plaque.
Tartar and plaque provide a convenient breeding ground for bacteria to feed off sugars from the foods we eat. Also, bacteria produce acids that could erode the enamel of the tooth and also cause several dental and periodontal issues.
Factors that could lead to tartar and plaque include; poor brushing technique, poor choices of food, poor dental hygiene, lack of professional dental care, and hereditary.
Below are tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with tartar and plaque;
- Ensure you brush your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush that is not too large for your mouth.
- Avoid snacking between meals, especially on sugary or sticky snacks. If you do, ensure you brush afterward.
- Strive to use fluoride toothpaste as this type of toothpaste mineralizes and hardens the tooth enamel.
- Endeavor to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
- Ensure you eat a well-balanced diet to keep your teeth and gum healthy.
- Avoid smoking as smokers have a higher tendency to have teeth and gum problems than nonsmokers.
- If you use dentures, retainers, or other appliances in your mouth, ensure you keep them clean.
- Strive to floss at least once a day. Flossing is very good for the gums.
- Endeavor to visit your dentist or oral hygienist at least twice a year.
Below are home remedies and treatments for tartar and plaque;
1. Baking Soda
An easy and effective way of getting rid of tartar and plaque from teeth is to use baking soda. Baking soda helps in neutralizing mouth acids and eliminating the risk of plaque formation. Baking soda also kills the harmful bacteria that thrive in your mouth.
In addition to that, baking soda whitens the teeth in a natural way. For this remedy, put a little amount of baking soda powder in a bowl. Then, put a wet toothbrush on it so that it catches some of the baking soda. Brush your teeth gently using it. Now rinse your mouth with warm water. You may also mix salt with baking soda and brush with it. Do this remedy 1-2 times weekly.
2. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is probably the most naturally effective way to remove tartar and plaque from your teeth. It has been used for centuries to treat such dental conditions. Oil pulling is usually done with coconut oil which has powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains lauric acid that helps in reducing plaque effectively.
For this remedy, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth. Then, swish it around for 15 minutes. Avoid swallowing the oil. Spit it out and brush your teeth. Do this every day in the morning before you brush your teeth.
Guava leaves have antiplaque properties which not only prevents the formation of plaque but also eliminates accumulated plaque from your teeth. Both the fruit and leaves may show a beneficial action. Guava is also useful in reducing swelling and infections due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action.
For this remedy, take some guava leaves and wash them thoroughly. Choose the tender ones. Chew these leaves and allow its juice to cover the affected areas of the teeth. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with water thereafter. You may also eat a piece of unripe guava with salt sprinkled on it to reap similar benefits.
4. Proper Brushing
Properly brushing your teeth, twice, every day would go a long way in keeping your teeth problem-free. Always use a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent damage to your gums. Brush the inner and outer surfaces to remove any food particles. Also, brush the chewing surfaces and ridges to prevent the build-up of tartar. Hold the brush at an angle of 45 degrees to the gum line to ensure proper cleaning while reducing any damage to the gums.
Cloves have been used for many years to treat many oral problems naturally. Cloves have a pain relieving action which makes it best suitable for treating toothaches caused by infections. Furthermore, cloves ability to kill microbes prevents the formation of tartar as well as plaque.
Take a teaspoon of clove powder and put it in a small amount of olive oil. Then, spread the mixture evenly on your teeth and let it stay for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Repeat this remedy twice every day. You may also chew a clove or two to improve your oral health. Cloves also reduce bad breath in a natural way.
6. Homemade Scrub
A homemade scrub consisting of aloe vera, glycerin, and baking soda is an excellent remedy for removing plaque and tartar. These ingredients help in soothing the irritated gums, killing the microbes as well as naturally lightening the teeth. To a cup of water, add 1 tsp of aloe vera gel and 4 tsp of glycerin. Now add about 4-5 tbsp of baking soda to it and mix well. Also, add a little amount of lemon oil. Use this mixture to scrub your teeth. Finally, wash your mouth thoroughly with plain water to remove the scrub.
7. Orange Peels
Orange peels not only remove tartar from the teeth in an effective way but also whitens the teeth. Simply take a piece of orange peel and rub it directly on the affected areas of your teeth for 2 minutes. Wait for another 2 minutes and wash your mouth with water. You may also grind some orange peels and apply its paste on your teeth for some minutes to remove tartar and plaque.
8. Flouride Toothpaste
One of the best ways to strengthen your teeth is to use fluoride toothpaste for brushing. It helps in remineralizing the areas of teeth that undergo decay, thereby inhibiting the bacteria that may result in tartar. Floride also improves the enamel of the teeth making it less prone to acidity present in foods.
9. Fruits And Vegetables
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, especially those which are crunchy can naturally clean your teeth making it free from plaque. You can choose from apples, carrots, celery, pepper, and muskmelon to eat after your meals to remove food particles as well as plaque deposited on your teeth. Fruits are not only helpful in keeping your teeth clean but also promotes your overall health.
10. White Vinegar
The acetic acid content of white vinegar may aid in demineralization of the tooth enamel as well as reduce plaque formation. Furthermore, vinegar’s antibacterial nature checks the growth of bacteria that can cause plaque. Rinse your mouth with a solution made by mixing 2 tsp of white vinegar and 1 tsp of salt in half a cup of water. However, do not use this remedy often so as not to overly bleach or demineralize your teeth’s enamel.
Figs can help in increasing the flow of saliva by stimulating the salivary glands. It also helps in cleaning the mouth and prevents the formation of plaque. For this remedy, simply chew, slowly, 2-3 figs after your meals every day to keep plaque and tartar at a bay.
12. Regular Flossing
Regular flossing is extremely important to remove plaque from areas where your brush cannot reach. Usually, the plaque present in between the teeth gets unnoticed which may aggravate and cause serious problems. Flossing helps in eliminating plaque and trapped food particles from the mouth.
13. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an effective antimicrobial agent which helps in reducing plaque as well as infections of the gums. Aloe vera also aids in combating bad breadth. Take an aloe leaf and cut it open to scoop out some gel. Rub this gel on the affected areas and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash off with water, thereafter. Ensure you perform this remedy at least 2 times in a day.
Cheese works by increasing the production of saliva which neutralizes the acids present in plaque. Furthermore, cheese contains a high concentration of calcium as well as phosphates which strengthens the teeth. It also forms a protective layer over the teeth to prevent plaque and decay. Just eat hard cheese in a small amount after your meals to reduce the formation of plaque.
The acidic nature of lemons helps in dissolving the plaque and removing them effectively. Furthermore, the antimicrobial nature of lemons kills bacteria and reduces plaque formation. For this remedy, extract some lemon juice in a bowl. After regular brushing, dip your toothbrush in the lemon juice and brush gently over the affected areas of the teeth. Wait for 1-2 minutes, then, wash your mouth with water. The mild bleaching action of lemon is also effective in whitening the teeth.
16. Rosemary Essential Oil
The antiseptic properties of rosemary essential oil are effective in removing plaque and treat cavities. All you have to do is take a tablespoon of water and add a little amount of the oil in it. Mix well and use it as a mouthwash. Make sure you swish around your teeth for at least 10 minutes for it to work. Avoid swallowing it. Then, spit it out and brush your teeth. Do this remedy twice every day.
17. Sanguinaria Extract
Sanguinaria or bloodroot is widely used in herbal toothpastes. It has powerful antimicrobial properties that kill harmful bacteria present in the mouth, thereby, reducing plaque formation. Sanguinaria is known to prevent gingivitis in an effective manner. For this remedy, pour warm water into a cup and add some drops of extract of sanguinaria to it. Mix well and use it to gargle twice every day.
18. Black Tea
Black tea is antimicrobial in nature which prevents bacterial growth that causes plaque. Black tea also contains fluoride which strengthens the teeth. For this remedy, brew a cup of black tea and let it cool. Then, use this tea to rinse your mouth thoroughly. Spit it out and do this remedy once every day to prevent the formation of plaque as well as improve the enamel of your teeth.
19. Spicy Foods
Spicy foods have a tendency to increase the production of saliva in the mouth which is effective in cleaning the plaque and food particles from the mouth. This prevents the growth of bacteria in the gums. Therefore, include foods such as salsa in your diet on a regular basis.
20. Dental Pick
A dental pick can be helpful in removing deposited tartar in an excellent way. Dental picks are readily available in stores. Sit in a comfortable position with a magnifying mirror. Locate the tartar on your teeth and gently scrape it off with the help of the dental pick. Spit it out and repeat doing it until you completely get rid of the tartar. Avoid putting the dental pick deep in the gums because it may cause an injury, increasing the risk of an infection.
21. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds help in cleaning the plaque from the surface of the teeth by scrubbing it in a gentle way. It also polishes the teeth and whitens it. For this remedy, simply chew a tablespoon of these seeds. Before spitting it out, brush your teeth using a dry brush. Repeat this remedy twice every week for removing plaque and tartar from your teeth naturally.
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