How to Remove Plaque from Teeth

How to Remove Plaque from Teeth Naturally at Home: Baking soda is effective at removing plaque because it’s a natural cleanser and an abrasive

Plaque on Teeth

In this article you will learn how to remove plaque from teeth naturally at home. Plaque can build up on your teeth, but good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits will help keep it away. Have you ever noticed that after a dental cleaning, your teeth look sparkly and white, but over time they appear more dull and yellow?

That yellowish color comes from plaque, a filmy substance made out of bacteria. Plaque accumulates on your teeth both above and below your gum line. You may find it unsightly, but what’s more, it can damage your teeth and gums if it’s not removed.

We use our mouths every day to eat, drink and talk, which is why it’s so important to keep our gums and teeth clean. Maintaining a good oral care plan is essential for keeping your teeth healthy and strong.

When brushing and cleaning between the teeth, the goal is to remove the plaque that grows on your teeth over time. While plaque is harmful for your oral health, there’s no need to worry because removing plaque from your teeth doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

Keep reading to find oral health tips for how to remove plaque from teeth and when you should visit your dental care provider for assistance.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the surface of your teeth and in-between your teeth. Plaque contains bad bacteria that releases acids. These acids can negatively impact your tooth enamel, which is what protects your teeth against tooth decay.

How Plaque Buildup Affects your Teeth

If you’re not brushing your teeth regularly, plaque can build up and cause adverse effects to your mouth. Removing plaque from your teeth is important because it prevents tartar from forming. Tartar is the hardened form of plaque that builds up on the surface of your teeth and along your gum line.

Plaque and tartar can cause your gums to be irritated and inflamed. This inflammation can lead to bleeding gums and other symptoms of tooth decay, which are usually the first signs of gum disease. Tooth decay (cavities) can lead to other oral infections, which can also be painful experiences that lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

How to Get Rid of Plaque at Home

Removing plaque from teeth: Once the plaque turns into tartar, you cannot remove it on your own. In order to prevent plaque from turning into tartar on your teeth, it’s important that you practice good oral hygiene habits.

Taking care of your teeth on a daily basis is the best way to prevent damaging your teeth and gums. You can use these simple steps to remove plaque from your teeth and help reduce the amount of bacteria that’s in your mouth.

1. Brush your teeth twice a day

One of the best ways to remove plaque from your teeth is to brush them. Brushing your teeth reduces how much bacteria remains on your teeth’s surfaces. Use these tips to remove plaque from your teeth while brushing:

  • Brush your teeth for 2 minutes both times. Angle your toothbrush so that you can reach the front and back surfaces of each tooth. Use small, circular motions when brushing to help remove the plaque.
  • Use a toothpaste that helps remove plaque from teeth. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste, like Sensodyne Complete Protection, that protects against plaque and helps remove it along the gumline.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. No matter if you have a manual or battery-powered toothbrush, you should only use a toothbrush with soft bristles. A hard-bristled brush can be harsh on your gums and pull them away from the roots of your teeth.

To brush your teeth:

  • Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush. For children, the amount of toothpaste should be about the size of a grain of rice.
  • Hold your toothbrush on your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
  • Move your toothbrush back and forth in short, gentle strokes the same width as each of your teeth.
  • Brush all the outside surfaces, inside surfaces, and chewing surfaces of your teeth, and don’t forget your tongue.
  • For the inside of your front teeth, tilt your toothbrush vertically and make small up-and-down strokes.

2. Floss between your teeth daily

Just like plaque can form on the surfaces of your teeth, it can also get in-between your teeth and get trapped in your gumline. Because your regular toothbrush won’t get all the plaque between your teeth.

It’s important that you use other plaque removal methods. Dental floss, floss holders, water flossers and smaller toothbrushes can help. Ask your dental care provider for instructions if you need help learning how to use your flossing tool.

Floss before you brush to loosen any bits of food so you can brush them away. To floss your teeth:

  • Take about 18 inches of floss, wrapping one end around each of your middle fingers.
  • Hold the floss taut between your thumbs and forefingers, then gently push the floss between two teeth.
  • Move the floss into a “C” shape on the side of one tooth.
  • Rub the floss up and down gently, continuing to press it against your tooth. Be careful not to jerk or snap the floss.
  • Repeat this process for all of your teeth, taking care to floss behind your back teeth as well.

3. Use therapeutic mouthwash

Rinse with a therapeutic mouthwash that helps reduce plaque: Along with brushing your teeth and flossing between them, you may want to rinse the inside of your mouth using a therapeutic mouthwash. Some mouthwashes contain fluoride, and other active ingredients, that help reduce or control plaque and gingivitis

While mouthwash shouldn’t be a substitute for you brushing and flossing your teeth, you can use it before or after you brush. Read the manufacturer’s directions on the back of your mouthwash to see which order you should add an oral rinse to your routine. Knowing when to rinse can help maximize your mouthwash’s effectiveness in helping protect your teeth.

4. Utilize oil pulling

Swishing oil — usually coconut or olive oil — around in your mouth may strengthen your teeth, prevent tooth decay, soothe sore gums, and remove plaque.

To perform an “oil pull,” you swish about one tablespoon of coconut or olive oil around in your mouth for 20 to 30 minutes (much longer than you’d swish around typical mouthwash). Coconut oil is believed to be particularly beneficial because it contains fatty acids such as lauric acid, a substance with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.

5. Make use of baking soda

Researchers have found that people who brushed their teeth with toothpaste containing baking soda removed more plaque and had less plaque grow back over 24 hours than people who brushed their teeth with toothpaste that did not contain baking soda.

Baking soda is effective at removing plaque because it’s a natural cleanser and an abrasive, meaning it’s good for scrubbing.

6. Visit your dental care provider

Even with brushing and flossing, you still may miss some of the plaque on and between your teeth and along your gum line. This is why you should schedule regular visits with your dental provider.

Make an appointment with your dentist or dental hygienist to get your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months. They can help you remove plaque from any areas you may have missed and advise you if there are any signs of gum disease present and suggest treatment options.

If your gums or teeth become unhealthy, you may need to speak with your dentist about visiting them more frequently. Seeing the dentist or dental hygienist every 3 to 4 months may be needed if your gums become unhealthy.

7. Consistently work to remove plaque from your teeth

If you haven’t been following a good oral hygiene plan, it’s not too late to start. Consistency is an important part of good oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth daily. 

Schedule regular check-ups with your dental provider to get a professional cleaning. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that removes plaque and protects your teeth so you can begin to see positive results at home.

How Plaque Causes Tartar to Form

Plaque buildup can have serious health consequences. The bacteria in plaque create acid by feeding on the sugars in the foods you eat, which can damage your teeth and cause cavities. The bacteria also make toxins that can aggravate your gums, leading to periodontal disease (gum disease).

When plaque on the teeth combines with the minerals in your saliva to form a hard deposit, that’s called tartar. Another name for tartar is calculus. Like plaque, tartar can form both above and below the gum line. Tartar forms a breeding ground for plaque bacteria to thrive in, allowing plaque bacteria to multiply quickly.

Unlike plaque, tartar can’t be removed by brushing or flossing. To get rid of it, you need to visit your dentist, who will use special instruments to remove it in a technique called “scale and polish.” Scaling refers to the removal or picking off of tartar from the teeth, while polishing helps smooth and shine the teeth afterwards.

How to Prevent Plaque and Tartar from Forming

The best ways to prevent plaque from forming is to stick to good dental habits. Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice per day (ideally once in the morning and once before you go to bed), and floss at least once per day.

Regular dental appointments are also critical in preventing additional plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. Your dentist will scrape and clean your teeth so they’re free of plaque and tartar.

They may also perform a fluoride treatment, which can prevent and slow the growth of plaque bacteria and buildup of tartar on your teeth. This helps prevent tooth decay.

Research suggests that chewing gum sweetened with sorbitol or xylitol between meals can prevent plaque buildup. Be sure not to chew gum with sugar, which encourages bacteria growth on the teeth. Eating a healthy diet that’s low in added sugars, on the other hand, can limit bacteria growth on your teeth. Be sure to eat lots of fresh produce, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Mouthwash or a tool such as a dental pick, interdental brush, or dental stick can be helpful in preventing bacteria buildup between meals.

Chewing tobacco and smoking both promote the development of bacteria on the teeth. Stop using tobacco products, and if you haven’t tried them before, don’t start.

Bottom Line

Plaque and tartar will build up less on your teeth the better you care for them. To stop plaque buildup, clean your teeth at least twice a day and floss once. Additionally, remember to visit your dentist frequently for cleanings and preventative care. In the long term, maintaining proper oral hygiene will keep you healthy.

If you think you may have a dental issue related to plaque or tartar buildup, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. The sooner you get the dental issue addressed, the less damage it’s likely to cause and the easier (and less expensive) it will be to treat.

This article above expounds all you need to know about how to remove plaque from teeth naturally at home. Take note: Once tartar has formed, only a dental professional will be able to remove it from your teeth. So, visit your dentist every 6 months to remove any plaque and tartar that might have formed and to prevent further problems.

Also Read: How to Remove Tartar from Teeth without a Dentist