How to Remove Plaque from Teeth — and When Should You Visit a Dentist?
The goal of preventive dentistry in Lake Shore East Chicago is to keep your pearly whites healthy and strong. But your dentist can’t do all the work for you. You should take an interest in learning how to remove plaque from teeth yourself.
As we will discuss later on, dental plaque is an ongoing issue we all have to deal with in our day-to-day lives. We need to be proactive and make sure it never has a chance to form in the first place. That being said, it might help if we all knew what we were dealing with.
What is Dental Plaque?
Simply put, plaque is the soft, sticky layer that collects on our teeth when we neglect to clean them for a time. We may feel the slightest hint of that film when we wake up after going to bed without brushing our teeth. The film is invisible to begin with, but may turn yellow as it builds up.
Since dental plaque is a mix of food and saliva, it tends to attract bacteria. Before you know it, you’ll be dealing with tooth decay and gum disease. In fact, this kind of buildup usually starts right between the teeth and gums. Because of that, it can cause our gums to shrink and recede, exposing the sensitive roots of our teeth. However, we would probably see the damage coming a mile away in the form of tartar.
What’s the Difference Between Dental Plaque and Tartar?
Before we can talk about plaque removal and prevention, let’s take a moment to clarify one thing. If you’ve already spent some time researching this matter, you might have come across this term that’s used almost interchangeably with the word plaque. However, it might surprise you to learn that tartar isn’t just a regular buildup. With that in mind, we wanted to explain the difference between regular old plaque and tartar.
As we have established, plaque is a pale yellow buildup that collects on our teeth, usually as a result of poor dental hygiene. Tartar — otherwise known as dental calculus — is made up of the same materials as plaque. However, it is an advanced version of the condition, often taking on the form of a brown deposit. Even more disconcertingly, it is usually bonded to the surface layer of the tooth and can even penetrate the gums.
As you might imagine, if plaque — or tartar — bonds to your enamel, there would be nothing you can do about it. So if the home remedies we’re about to discuss don’t work for you, you should look for periodontal specialists in your area.
How to Remove Plaque From Teeth Fast: Best DIY Methods
The most important thing we can do to stave off plaque is clean our teeth regularly. One way to do that would be to use toothpaste with fluoride to protect our teeth from decay. Instead of scrubbing as hard as we can, we should focus on making our brushing sessions at least two minutes long. In any case, we ought to spend at least thirty seconds on each quadrant of the mouth.
Those of us who haven’t introduced floss and interdental brushes into our routines should consider doing so now. Flossing daily or even several times per day will make all the difference. It’ll remove any food remnants from the areas between our teeth and strengthen our gums too! Lastly, to keep cavities at bay, we should all use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing.
Of course, if the plaque on your teeth has already started to turn yellow, you could wash it off with various items from your pantry, including:
- Baking soda (mix it with some salt and dip your wet toothbrush in it or form a thick paste with hydrogen peroxide)
- White vinegar (make a mouthwash by mixing two tablespoons of vinegar with one tablespoon of salt and eight spoons of water)
- Orange peel (rub it on your teeth to whiten them and rinse it off or keep it on overnight)
- Sesame seeds (chew on them for a few minutes then brush your teeth with a dry toothbrush and rinse)
- Strawberries (mash with oranges and use as a five-minute mask)
- Rosemary essential oil (add a few drops to a spoonful of water and swish it around your mouth for ten minutes)
Ideally, we should also steer clear of sugary and starchy foods. Instead, eat more dairy and crunchy fruits and veggies like apples and carrots — those are basically nature’s plaque removers!
When Should We Seek Periodontal Treatment?
If we let plaque build up to the point of fusing with our teeth, we’ll have to consider more serious options. For all we know, the tartar might have already created the ideal environment for the formation of cavities. Moreover, it might have laid the groundwork for conditions like gingivitis, abscesses, and gum disease.
To treat such a serious condition, we suggest finding a periodontal specialist in your area. The dentists will probably perform a deep cleaning, stripping away the layers of plaque. Additionally, they might prescribe another kind of periodontal treatment, such as a flap surgery. To perform the procedure, the oral surgeon would peel back the gums to remove tartar from the roots of the teeth.
How Do We Prevent Plaque Formation?
Before you worry about how to remove plaque from teeth, you’ll want to focus your efforts on prevention. Luckily, that comes down to practicing proper dental hygiene — which is what most of us are trying to do anyway!
So what are we doing wrong? To begin with, we ought to remind ourselves of the proper brushing technique. Most people remember the basic brushing instructions they received as kids: brush the top teeth down and the bottom teeth up. Do that at least twice daily — and don’t forget to floss!
Additionally, many of us neglect to pay attention to the line between the gums and teeth. That’s why plaque tends to settle there first. Moreover, the backside of the teeth is another area most people forget to brush. And since we have salivary glands right under the backside of our teeth, plaque forms incredibly quickly there.
Sometimes, using the proper tools can help. So if you have the means to invest in an electric toothbrush — do it. It’ll certainly do a better job of scraping food particles off your teeth than you ever could. Better still, they do all the work for you. You just need to shift the brush around each quadrant of your mouth and let it do its thing.
Learn How to Remove Plaque From Teeth to Prevent Dental Disasters!
Ultimately, learning how to remove plaque from teeth will certainly help us avoid having to seek out periodontal care. However, you should know that it’s not always as easy as cleaning your teeth with various items from your pantry. If your condition worsens, you’ll have to undergo a thorough dental cleaning at a clinic. To avoid that, you just need to form a solid dental hygiene routine and stick to it!