Plaque is a sticky, soft film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth, dental fillings, gums, tongue, dentures and crowns.
When multiple layers of plaque combine with minerals present in your saliva, it hardens into a white, chalky calcified substance called tartar.
It create a breeding ground for the oral bacteria that feed on sugars from the food you eat. Plus, it forms acid during this process that breaks down the tooth enamel, leading to dental cavities. Bacteria also produce toxins causing various periodontal (gum) problems.
Several factors contribute to plaque buildup, such as improper oral hygiene, bad brushing technique, poor food choices, heredity and lack of professional care.
Maintaining dental hygiene is key to preventing plaque and tartar buildup. You should:
- Brush your teeth with a good toothpaste at least two times a day. Use a soft, nylon brush with rounded, polished bristles. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line.
- Make sure you brush your tongue as well because it supports growth of bacteria leading to plaque buildup.
- Use dental floss regularly to clean your teeth and gums.
In addition to regular dental hygiene, you can use some natural remedies to remove plaque and tartar. Remember, once the tartar has mineralized on your teeth, it is extremely difficult to remove. However, if you regularly remove plaque, it can help prevent permanent tooth decay.
Here are the top 8 ways to naturally remove plaque and tartar.
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an age-old practice that supports oral health and helps remove plaque from teeth. Extra-virgin coconut oil is great for oil pulling because it is high in lauric acid that has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.
A 2015 study published in the Nigerian Medical Journal suggests that oil pulling with coconut oil is effective at reducing plaque formation.
- Swish 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Spit it out. Do not gargle with it or swallow it.
- Brush your teeth as usual.
- Repeat daily, in the morning before eating anything.
Plus, you can massage a few drops of coconut oil on your gums daily. You can also do oil pulling with warm sesame oil.
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