Do your feel your teeth being slimy all the time? Does your mouth give off a foul smell? Or do your gums bleed sometimes?
If yes, then the chances are high that you might have dental plaque.
Also known as biofilm, plaque is a clammy deposit that coats teeth and develops a hard yellow-brown substance known as tartar.
Plaque and tartar are common occurrences and usually develop due to poor dental hygiene. However, the conditions are very easy to treat.
Many methods can be suggested to you if you ask a professional how to get plaque off teeth. Simple measures and home remedies can also be used for plaque removal. Regular brushing and using floss daily will kill bacteria as soon as it accumulates.
However, it is important to acknowledge that plaque and tartar can develop into other harmful conditions that are not so easy to get rid of. Suppose basic oral hygiene is not maintained. Therefore, continue reading the article to know the causes of why plaque should be removed, how to get plaque off teeth, and other effective prevention measures.
A. What Causes Dental Plaque?
It is important to understand the cause of plaque for proper diagnosis and explore how to get plaque off teeth effectively.
Due to the food one consumes, bacteria in the mouth release harmful acids during digestion. As a result, a mucilaginous sheath develops around the teeth in the form of plaque. A deposit on the teeth enamel that is either colorless or pale yellow in color may indicate plaque.
Poor oral health is one of the major causes of plaque and tartar buildup. Allowing the bacteria to grow and multiply will intensify the problem. Generally, not taking care of your teeth the way it needs to be taken care of causes plaque.
B. Why Should Plaque Be Removed?
Before thinking about how to get plaque off teeth, you should know why plaque should be removed.
Plaque causes tooth decay. plaque-causing bacteria corrode the tooth enamel and may lead to tooth loss if plaque stays on the teeth and gums for long periods of time.
The idea of a sticky film clinging to your teeth is unpleasant. Bad breath will hamper your confidence level to go about your daily conversations. Yellow teeth will also taint your bright smile.
You are most likely want to know how to get plaque off teeth because of these unpleasant reasons.
The American Dental Association has linked plaques to cavities. The acids released by the plaque will sit around if you do not brush your teeth frequently, leading to cavities.
If plaque buildup is left untreated, it will develop into tartar which is basically just hardened plaque. Tartar or dental calculus is not as common as dental plaque, and only a dental professional can treat it.
For some people, the deposits may be black in color, which is called black tartar.
Not all black-colored sediments on the teeth are cavities. Tartar settles on the tooth surface near the gum line, whereas cavities surround the entire tooth and appear as a depression on the tooth.
If you do not remove tartar as soon as you notice it, it will develop into black tartar. Inflammation around the gums caused due to tartar will make the gums sensitive and cause bleeding.
Further, tartar can cause gum diseases like gingivitis. When the sugary and starchy foods release bacteria, they accumulate around all the chewing surfaces. The bacteria buildup will lead to gingivitis which further causes periodontal disease. It could also cause ulcers.
Periodontal disease is a complicated problem. When gum disease spreads to the tissues and bones, an infection in the jaw bone is caused. This can make regular activities like chewing painful, and bleeding around the gums can become common. If the infection spreads around the tooth, you will likely lose it. This will require more advanced treatment.
C. How To Get Plaque Off Teeth: Treatments
Plaque and tartar buildup can cause a lot of problems. They can cause pain, are aesthetically displeasing, and also lead to several complications as well. It is always recommended that you figure out how to get plaque off teeth through home remedies and other easy methods before it leads to complications.
Therefore, it is best to start taking steps to get plaque off teeth by home remedies. If these fail, your best bet is to visit a dental hygienist to get a detailed diagnosis and treatment for your problem.
Some popular home remedies and other treatment options that a dentist can recommend are listed below.
1. Home Remedies To Get Plaque Off Teeth
- Brush and floss to remove plaque
If you are wondering how to get plaque off teeth, this is the easiest method. Keep your mouth clean, fresh, and bacteria-free. Flossing your tooth, brushing often is some basic measures you must follow to remove plaque. Maintaining basic oral health is recommended by every dentist to keep all dental problems at bay.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day to get all the food particles out of your mouth. Use a string of dental floss and floss every day to ensure that no more sticky film remains in your mouth after brushing.
Your toothpaste and toothbrush have to be chosen carefully to maintain perfect oral health and hygiene. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reach all corners of the mouth and remove food residue if you have sensitive teeth. Using an electric toothbrush is more effective in removing plaque.
Using fluoride-based toothpaste is recommended. There is also specific tartar removal toothpaste for removing tartar but using those alone are not sufficient to fully get rid of tartar.
Floss each tooth with care either before or after brushing. Just brushing your teeth twice a day will not remove all the plaque there is. A floss provides proper interdental cleaning, and flossing properly can ensure that no more plaque remains.
Use dental products that have undergone rigorous testing and are declared safe to use by the American Dental Association for more effective results.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, you should definitely brush at night if you are in the habit of brushing only once a day.
- Baking Soda
Baking soda is basic in nature. It neutralizes the acidic environment in the mouth and prevents bacteria from proliferating. For the same reason, it is very effective against mouth ulcers. Aside from this, baking soda is known to be a natural teeth whitening agent.
It is very effective in removing plaque, preventing tooth decay and gum disease, but it must be used judiciously. Using too much baking soda can damage the gums. Baking soda can never replace actual toothpaste, but it can be used in combination with toothpaste. Toothpaste that contains baking soda in them is known to be more effective than those that do not.
- Oil swishing
If you want to know how to get plaque off teeth with oil, then read on.
Oil swishing is an age-old practice. Recently popularized by influencers, this ayurvedic procedure involves holding oil in your mouth or swishing it till it turns milky. Oil swishing or oil pulling is known to reduce the chances of getting plaque-induced gingivitis or any other gum disease.
Coconut oil is mostly used for this. But, you could also other edible oils like sunflower oil, olive oil, or sesame oil(oil extracted from sesame seeds).
Sesame seeds can also be used while you brush. They act as a scrub and remove sticky substances clinging onto the teeth.
You should not swallow the oil, and you must rinse your mouth thoroughly soon after.
- Orange Peel
Orange peel can be rubbed on the teeth and gum line to remove tartar safely. You can also mush the insides of the peel and use it as a paste. Orange is citric and rich in Vitamin C. These properties make it ideal to use against the effect of starchy foods.
- White vinegar
If you are wondering how to get plaque off teeth at home, here is another easy method.
Acetic acid is the major component of white vinegar. Acid is known to be a good option to remove tartar from your teeth. White vinegar combined with warm water can be used for gargling. Any residual food sticking on your teeth can be removed by gargling with white vinegar twice a day.
Apple cider vinegar also produces similar results.
2. Dental Professional To Get Rid Of Plaque
Dental plaque can be removed at home. But if it has progressed to tartar, home remedies may not work.
When you ask a dentist, “how to get plaque off teeth?” this is what they will suggest to you.
A dentist will have to do a dental cleaning to remove tartar efficiently. The procedure involves a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums, and it is not a surgical process.
A dental professional will either use a manual scaling device or an ultrasonic device. Both the devices serve the same purpose and work similarly.
Scaling involves the scraping of tarter using a scaling device. This is done by hand. An ultrasonic device smashes tartar, and the softened tartar can be rinsed away.
The dentist may then vigorously brush and floss your teeth.
Finally, fluoride treatment is administered. This is necessary to prevent tooth decay, tartar buildup, and cavities. Fluoride is applied on the teeth in the form of foam, varnish, or gel and allowed to rest on the tooth and gum line for less than a minute, after which it can be rinsed away with water.
3. Methods To Prevent Plaque
Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, listed down below are some effective preventive measures.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Beverages like tea, coffee, and soft drinks provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Foods rich in fat like ice cream, butter, cheese, and other high saturated fat-containing foods are hazardous for oral health.
- Make lifestyle changes. It is a known fact that smoking is injurious to health. Smoking increases the risk of plaque turning into gum disease.
- Lastly, try to brush your teeth after every meal. Floss at least once a day to prevent tartar.
Now there you go, a comprehensive analysis on how to get plaque off teeth.
This article is not intended to provide medical advice. This article is based on expert opinions on how to get plaque off teeth and is intended for informational purposes only.
Visit a dental professional, ask how to get plaque off teeth, get a comprehensive analysis of your problem, and a suitable treatment accordingly.
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Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.