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How to Remove Plaque from Teeth at Home: DIY Dental Care Tips

Taking care of your teeth isn’t just about making them white and beautiful. Cleaning is also important to avoid plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth, and if left untreated, it can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Fortunately, there are strategies and techniques for managing plaque from the comfort of your home.

What Is a Dental Plaque?

Plaque is a sticky film of natural bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. It develops when sugars and starches from food interact with oral bacteria. Over time, plaque can harden into tartar, becoming a huge problem for your teeth health.

The effects of unchecked plaque can be significant. It’s the main culprit behind cavities and gum disease, leading to pain and tooth loss if not resolved immediately. In some cases, people with too much plaque require extensive dental treatments, such as replacing natural teeth with dentures.

How Can I Remove Plaque From My Teeth at Home: Top Tips

1. Regular Brushing

The most basic and effective form of removing plaque is brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush for at least two minutes. Pay special attention to the gum line and hard-to-reach back teeth, where plaque accumulates.

2. Floss Daily

Using dental floss daily removes plaque and leftover food particles between your teeth and under the gumline, which are hard-to-reach areas for your toothbrush. Gentle, daily flossing prevents plaque from hardening into tartar, reducing the risk of gum disease.

3. Gargle Mouthwash

Use mouthwash with fluoride or antimicrobial properties in your oral hygiene routine. It helps kill bad bacteria that contribute to plaque formation and reach areas that brushing and flossing cannot access.

4. Eat Plaque-Fighting Foods

Rich fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables, stimulate saliva flow, a natural defense against plaque. Additionally, cheese and milk neutralize the acids in the mouth, reducing dental plaque buildup.

5. Limit Sugary and Starchy Foods

Since plaque forms when an ecosystem of bacteria in your mouth converts sugars and starches into acids, reducing your intake of these foods can lower plaque and tartar buildup. If you want to eat starchy or sugary foods, brush your teeth soon afterward.

6. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can increase saliva production, neutralizing and washing away the acids produced by harmful bacteria in plaque that can lead to cavities.

7. Dental Sealants

You should consider asking your dentist about dental sealants. Dentists place sealants on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, acting as a barrier to prevent food and plaque from settling in the grooves of the teeth.

8. Use an Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes can remove plaque better compared to manual toothbrushes. They offer various brushing modes and timers to ensure you brush evenly and for the recommended duration.

9. Natural Remedies

While there are natural remedies that you can do by yourself, it’s worth noting that some of them need more studies to ensure their effectiveness as a plaque removal treatment. Use these remedies cautiously and consult with a dentist whenever possible.

  • Oil Pulling. Swishing a tablespoon of sesame, sunflower or coconut oil around your oral cavity for 15 to 20 minutes removes bacteria and plaque. This ancient practice is believed to pull toxins out of your gums.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Gargling with apple cider or white vinegar diluted in water can eliminate plaque and stains due to its acidic properties. Don’t forget to wash your mouth with water afterward to prevent acid damage to your enamel.
  • Baking Soda and Salt. You can mix baking soda and a pinch of salt as a natural toothpaste. The combination neutralizes acids in the mouth and reduces plaque and tartar buildup. Brush gently to avoid damaging the enamel.
  • Aloe Vera and Glycerine Scrub. Create a scrub using a cup of water, half a cup of baking soda, four teaspoons of vegetable glycerine, a single teaspoon of aloe vera gel and lemon essential oil. The mixture can help clean your teeth and combat plaque.
  • Tea Tree Oil. Adding a small drop of tea tree oil to your toothpaste can provide anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, you must only take a small amount and not swallow it.
  • Cranberries. Fresh cranberries or unsweetened cranberry juice could aid in plaque reduction due to their ability to prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Ensure you get unsweetened juice to avoid sugar that fuels plaque.
  • Green Tea. Drinking sugar-free green tea can improve oral health. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties fight off bacteria and reduce plaque and inflammation in the gums.

What Happens When There’s Too Much Plaque Buildup?

  • Cavities. Plaque produces acid that can erode the tooth enamel, leading to cavities or dental caries.
  • Gum Disease. Also known as gingivitis, this condition is characterized by inflamed and bleeding gums, caused by plaque accumulation at the gumline.
  • Periodontitis. If you don’t treat gingivitis right away, it can lead to periodontal disease, a more severe gum disease that can harm the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth, possibly leading to tooth loss.
  • Bad Breath (Halitosis). The plaque-causing bacteria can produce odors, contributing to persistent bad breath.
  • Tooth Loss. Over time, the ongoing effects of plaque can weaken the teeth’s support structure, leading to tooth loss.
  • Heart Disease. Evidence suggests that gum disease bacteria can make its way inside the bloodstream and contribute to heart disease, stroke and other complications outside the oral cavity.

Importance Regular Dental Check-Ups

Regular dental check-ups prevent plaque and tartar buildup due to the professional cleaning and examinations only a dentist can provide. During these visits, a dental hygienist can remove tartar—a hardened form of plaque that cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone.

Additionally, dentists can spot early signs of cavities, gum disease and other grave dental health issues you might not notice. These check-ups also allow your dentist to provide personalized dental advice on improving your oral hygiene routine, further aiding in the prevention of plaque accumulation.

Ultimately, regular dental visits are a preventive measure that helps maintain oral health and overall well-being, as bad oral health has been tied to several systemic diseases, including heart disease.

Let Smile Greensboro Guide You to Achieving Plaque-Free Teeth

Knowing how to remove plaque and tartar from teeth at home can positively impact your oral health. However, you will find it more effective when you get plaque removal treatment from a dental clinic. Plaque is a hard, sticky substance that is difficult to completely remove by yourself.

That’s where Smile Greensboro comes in. We provide professional check-ups and cleaning to remove plaque on your teeth. Remember that it’s always best to visit a dental office like ours because we use unique methods and tools to remove plaque properly. Call us now to schedule your consultation today!

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