It is fair to say that everyone knows about that gritty, sticky and gross feeling film that builds up on one’s teeth – the dreaded dental plaque. It may not be visible to the eye but once you run your tongue around your teeth, you know it is undoubtedly there.
Also known as tartar when it hardens or calcifies, the plaque on your teeth contains millions of bacteria that feed off the sugars that you consume, producing acids in the process that eat away your tooth enamel. If you ignore plaque build up, it might lead to cavities and gingivitis so it is very important to take measures in getting rid of it. It is highly encouraged that you pay your dentist a visit every now and then, but for those who are not able to do so, here are some home remedies to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth.
4) Food coloring.
When getting rid of plaque, it helps a lot if you are able to see it. That is when food coloring comes in. Applying food coloring on your teeth allows you to know where exactly the plaque is hiding. Although it sounds a bit messy, food coloring will not actually stain your teeth but it does stick to plaque.
What you should do first is to put some petroleum jelly on your lips to keep them from being stained. Take a cotton swab or a q-tip, dip into the food coloring, then apply along the teeth and gums. You can also add a few drops of food coloring to a spoon of water and swish it around your mouth. Once you are able to see all the plaque, it is time to grab a toothbrush and get to work.
3) Proper brushing.
Proper brushing still remains one of the best ways to get rid of plaque. Unfortunately, not many people know how to properly brush their teeth. First and foremost, you need a good toothbrush. Once you see the bristles start to bend out to the sides, it is time to get a new one. The problem with most people is that they use their toothbrushes way longer than they really should. Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months.
Dentists agree that a toothbrush with really soft and rounded nylon bristles are the best when it comes to removing plaque. Brushes with smaller heads are also suggested as it has no problem getting into hard to reach areas.
Brush your teeth at least two times a day (for at least two straight minutes each time), preferably after every meal. For optimum plaque removal, lightly brush your teeth at a 45 degree angle along your gum lines, in a circular motion across each tooth. After making sure that you have brushed each tooth, take a few seconds to brush your tongue to get rid of bad breath causing bacteria.
One of the best defenses against plaque is flossing. Just like brushing, flossing also needs to be done right in order for it to be effective. First, work between the teeth and down where the tooth and gum meet. Next, slide the floss back up and make sure that you skim over the surface of each tooth. Quickly slipping it up and down is not enough. Really (but gently) work it down the gum line before dragging it back out and make sure that it rubs the side of the teeth along the way. Be sure that you floss even the hard to reach teeth at the back of your mouth.
1) Oil pulling.
Oil pulling is an ancient but really effective method for removing plaque. Practitioners of this ancient practice used to use sesame, sunflower and coconut oils. Among the three oils, coconut is considered to have the most benefits as it contains lauric acid, which contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Pour a spoonful of coconut oil into your mouth and swish it around, making sure that you “pull” the oil through and between your teeth. Do this for 10 to 20 minutes then spit out oil. Avoid swallowing it as it contains all those nasty bacteria from your mouth. For optimum results, practice oil pulling once daily.