We all know what plaque and tarter look like when it starts showing up on our teeth. It's gross and unsightly, but more importantly, it's unhealthy.
Plaque is a gritty, sticky, bacteria-filled film that settles on the teeth because of improper brushing or flossing. If left ignored, multiple layers of plaque start getting deposited on top of each other.
These layers combine with the minerals present in the saliva to harden into a white substance called calculus or tartar. It is always better to get rid of plaque as soon as it is noticed because tartar is quite stubborn and may give you swollen or bleeding gums.
Why is tartar dangerous?
Tartar contains a million bacteria that feed on the sugar we eat. It also produces acid during the process which degrades the tooth enamel. Enamel is a protective layering on the tooth which protects it from any damage. Once the enamel is destroyed the tooth becomes prone to all types of damage by bacteria like cavities, gingivitis, bleeding of gums. etc.
How to get rid of tartar?
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is the key to keeping plaque or tartar formation at bay. However, there are some natural home remedies that could be helpful in removing tartar. Having said that, tartar is a bit difficult to fight, it may take some time to get rid of it and protect against tooth decay. Here are a few natural ways that have proved to be effective in removing tartar.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great home remedy for removing tartar and is easily available in everyone’s kitchen. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, it works by neutralizing the acid in the mouth. This reduces the number of harmful bacteria and also prevents the tooth from the decaying effect of acid. All you need to do is add a pinch of salt to a teaspoon of baking soda, apply it on your wet toothbrush and then brush as usual. Your teeth will also become whiter than before.
Both white and apple cider vinegar do wonders as far as getting rid of plaque is concerned. Vinegar, as we know, is highly acidic in nature. This property makes it effective enough in killing the bacteria responsible for forming plaque. Whiter teeth and fresh breath are the added benefits that you receive.
There are two ways of using vinegar for your dental hygiene. First, dip a cotton ball in vinegar and dab it on your teeth. After a few minutes, go ahead with rinsing your mouth and brushing as usual. Another way is to make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and using it as a toothpaste. This provides you with the combined benefits of both baking soda and vinegar.
3. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the age-old practice of removing plaque in order to boost oral health. Coconut oil, usually used for oil pulling, is high in lauric acid and is enriched with the properties of being anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Although oil pulling can be done with other oils like sunflower or sesame oil as well. Additionally, extra virgin coconut oil also serves the purpose.
Take one spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it all around. The most important part is to swish thoroughly for 10-15 minutes. It’s a long time, but that’s what produces best results. Doing oil pulling once a day is good enough to keep you plaque free.
4. Vitamin C Rich Foods
We all are well aware of how Vitamin C is essential for us. It boosts immunity and helps in the formation of collagen, the binding protein. Deficiency of Vitamin C may cause scurvy. Scurvy is well known to cause bleeding gums or even tooth loss. Vitamin C has a vital function of building up gums and keeping them adhered to the teeth. It also strengthens the bones around the teeth to prevent tooth loosening or falling out.
The best, easiest and most healthful way of using citrus fruits is to eat them in plenty. Strawberries, guava, tomatoes, pineapple, kiwi, oranges are some of the many citrus fruits to choose from. Another way is to take an orange peel and rub it on your teeth. Rinse it off and brush as normal.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is popular all over the globe for its numerous health benefits. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and is efficient enough to cure skin and gastrointestinal problems. Studies have revealed that it is as effective as chlorhexidine in fighting plaque. Chlorhexidine is a chemical found in most of the commercially available mouthwashes but is found to kill both- good and bad bacteria. Aloe Vera, however, is selective and gets rid of the bad bacteria.
It is recommended to use aloe vera gel, juice or pulp twice daily to get rid of the tartar or plaque. It is very easy to use and you only need to apply it on your teeth in any of the above forms. Leave it for ten minutes and then rinse your mouth with cold water.
6. Green Tea
Polyphenols found in green tea reduce plaque by depleting the level of plaque-causing bacteria. Its anti-inflammatory property also reduces the inflammation in your gums associated with plaque or tartar. Studies show that it is helpful in slowing down tooth loss and oral cancer. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea without sugar is advised as sugar again creates a breeding ground for bacteria.