Tartar (also known as calculus) forms on teeth when plaque builds up and begins to calcify. Tartar not only looks unsightly, but also causes serious long-term damage to teeth and gums.
Regular Ellicott City dental checkups are the best way to remove or prevent plaque and tartar. But if you want to remove tartar and plaque without going to the dentist, this article will explain how to do it.
The best way to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth is to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing daily and using an antiseptic mouthwash can help kill bacteria in hard-to-reach areas. Natural remedies such as brushing with baking soda and rinsing with vinegar and water can also help.
On this page, you’ll find tips on how to remove plaque and prevent tartar without a dentist.
5 steps to clean your teeth like a dental hygienist!
The most important thing you can do for your oral health is to brush your teeth twice a day and see your dentist regularly. But if you can’t make it to the dentist or want to keep your teeth looking their best between appointments, the tips below will keep your teeth sparkling clean.
By choosing an electric toothbrush with a small round brush, you can clean each tooth individually and reach between them. A 2015 study found that while both manual and electric toothbrushes can remove plaque, “using a powered toothbrush, especially a counter-rotating or oscillating brush, can help reduce gum bleeding and inflammation.”
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel against tooth decay and prevents tooth decay. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been shown by several studies to effectively control tooth decay. Toothpastes can contain varying levels of fluoride; Adults and children over the age of three should use toothpaste containing 1350-1500 ppm fluoride. Use age-specific toothpaste to ensure proper fluoride levels for children. If you’re not sure which toothpaste is best for you or your family, talk to your dentist.
Brushing your teeth for two minutes is a well-known tip. But did you know that many people only brush their teeth for 45 seconds! The more time you brush your teeth, the more plaque is removed. One study found that brushing for three minutes removed 55% more plaque than brushing for 30 seconds.
Several studies have found that “flossing and brushing are more effective in reducing mild gingivitis, or gingivitis, than brushing alone.”
Most people know that flossing can help clean those hard-to-reach areas between your teeth, but interdental brushing takes it a step further. An interdental brush looks like a small eyelash brush and is used to gently clean between the teeth and gums.
Antibacterial mouthwash freshens your breath, reduces plaque build-up, loosens any stubborn food particles and reduces the risk of cavities. Using mouthwash immediately after brushing removes fluoride that is good for your teeth, so use it during the day, such as after a snack or lunch, to clean your mouth.
By following the five steps above, your teeth will stay super clean and healthy between dental appointments.
It is important to note that some tartar removal products, such as tartar scrapers, are best avoided at home. Dentists spend years training to develop skills in the safe use of dental equipment such as scalers, which can cause a number of problems, including infection and mouth injury, when used alone.
Natural ways to remove tartar at home
There are many natural ways to remove the plaque build-up that can lead to tartar formation, and many of them involve using things you already have at home. Just a word of warning, these natural remedies may be good for your teeth, but they don’t taste great!
Vinegar has a strong taste and may not be the most pleasant thing to gargle with, but vinegar has antibacterial properties that help prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Mix two teaspoons of white vinegar and half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and rinse your mouth up to twice a day.
Baking soda whitens your teeth and neutralizes acid-producing cavities. Some toothpastes contain baking soda, which acts as a gentle abrasive to remove plaque. With half a teaspoon of baking soda p
brush and brush your teeth gently with the paste for one minute, then rinse well with water.
Aloe vera is a small shrub with several incredible health benefits, including being good for your teeth. Mix a teaspoon of aloe vera gel with four teaspoons of glycerine (an ingredient found in many toothpastes), five tablespoons of baking soda, a drop of lemon essential oil, and a cup of water. Once mixed, use the mixture to clean your teeth to gradually remove plaque and tartar.
Ways to prevent tartar and plaque from building up
The best way to prevent tartar and plaque from building up is with the correct dental hygiene routine, as above, as well as regular visits to the dentist. But diet also plays a big part in keeping tartar and plaque at bay.
Reducing the amount of sugar and starch in your diet is the best way to prevent plaque. Bacteria in the mouth love sugary and starchy foods and when that bacteria feeds on these foods it creates the familiar fuzzy teeth feeling known as plaque.
Unfortunately, many of the foods bacteria love, we love too! Sticky sweet treats and savory snacks that can get stuck between your teeth are the worst culprits. But even just cutting down on the following foods or brushing after eating them can help reduce the risk of plaque building up.
Some drinks can be just as bad for causing plaque to form on your teeth, fizzy drinks, alcohol (as this can dry your mouth out), fruit juices and high carb sports drinks can all contribute to plaque build-up.
You can find out more about what sugar does to your teeth by reading our blog The Effects Of Sugar On Your Teeth And Why It’s Bad For You.
By moderating your intake of plaque forming foods and by maintaining a thorough dental hygiene routine you can reduce the risk of plaque and tartar build-up. But the most important thing you can do for your teeth is to have regular dental check-ups with a trusted dentist. If you don’t have a dentist, read our guide The Most Important Qualities A Great Family Dentist Must Have, to help you find one.
If you live in Howard County or near Ellicott City, MD and you’re worried about plaque and tartar building up on your teeth, book in for a check-up with our friendly team here at Menton Family Dental Care. You can schedule an appointment by calling (410) 740-9400 or by clicking the Get Started button below!