Is the nearest dentist hundreds of miles away? Perhaps you are worried the often exorbitant dental fees will strain your purse. You cannot leave plaque untreated, not at the expense of your beautiful, radiating smile. The good news is, this article has got you covered. In this detailed piece, you are going to learn how to get rid of plaque build up in easy, fast and effective ways. Let’s dive right in.
To start with, what is plaque?
Plaque refers to the nasty, sticky, bacterial film that forms on the teeth. This is the hangout of bacteria living in the mouth. Not only is plaque unsightly, but is also the leading cause of gum and cavity disease. When left untreated, it hardens, forming a calcified plaque known as tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar (also known as calculus) cannot be removed using a toothbrush and floss.
Also, not removing plaque in a timely fashion can result in bad breath as well as tooth decay. The plaque bacteria react with the mineral in the saliva, producing an acid which attacks and weakens the teeth. So, it is best to get rid of plaque buildup in time to avoid tartar formation.
Plaque is not easy to see unless the teeth are stained either by smearing a green color on the teeth with a swab or by chewing “disclosing tablet” available in drug stores. While plaque formation is not abnormal, factors such as poor hygiene, improper brushing techniques, genetic predisposition contribute to its build up.
Contrary to what many people believe, plaque removal is not as difficult as it seems. All it requires is little effort on your part.
Below are a few ways to get rid of plaque build up:
This oral health promoting practice has been existence for thousands of years. Oil pulling removes plaque from the teeth. Unrefined coconut oil is ideal for this practice since it contains high amount of lauric acid, a compound known for its effectiveness against bacteria and other microbes.
According to research, oil pulling or swishing with virgin coconut oil has been shown to be a good adjuvant procedure for reducing plaque formation. You can also use sesame oil and olive for this Ayurvedic practice.
-Take about 1 teaspoon of virgin coconut or oil
-If you like, you can add a drop of essential oil e.g oregano to it
-Slowly swish the oil in your mouth for about 20 to 30 minutes
-Ensure that the oil touches every area of your mouth
-Remember not to swallow the oil
-As you swish methodically and gently, the oil becomes thin and foamy
-Spit out the oil
-Thoroughly rinse your mouth with clean, tepid water
This should be done for 2 to 3 week to get the desired effect.
Note: the practice is best carried out on an empty stomach (when you just get out of bed).
Baking soda has antibacterial property, hence prevent the bacteria from entering your mouth. Moreover, its antacid content restores the mouth pH, soothing your mouth and teeth. Baking soda not only helps get rid of plaque build up, but also whitens the teeth. It is a very good abrasive for brushing the teeth.
-Mix 1 teaspoon of the soda with ½ teaspoon of table salt in a cup of water to form a paste
-Put your natural hair toothbrush inside the mixture
-Use it to brush to about 5 minutes, spitting out mixture periodically as you brush
-Leave for about 6 minutes and then rinse with plain water
Note: Overdoing this procedure (more than twice a month) weakens the teeth enamel. In some cases, the salt content can make your mouth swell.
Baking soda can also be mixed with water, lemon oil, glycerin and Aloe vera to make mouthwash. Rinse the mouth with the mixture 2 times per day.
Any “How to Get Rid of Plaque buildup” article isn’t complete without mentioning orange peel is very effective in combating bacteria and has a whitening effect on stained teeth. The lemonine found in the peel breaks down plague without harming the enamel. Orange peel also contains vitamin C that helps prevent proliferation of microbes on the teeth.
-Rub a fresh orange peel on your gum and teeth
-Leave for about 3 to 4 minutes, then rinse with water.
-This should be repeated 2 to 3 times per week on a regular basis.
This antimicrobial plant helps deal with gum diseases caused by plaque. Also, it prevents bad breath and smoothens irritated gum. Research has shown that the effect of aloe vera on gingivitis is similar to that of regular mouthwashes, e.g., Chlorhexidine.
-Gently rub an extract of aloe vera directly on the teeth
-Leave for around 8 minutes and rinse with clean water
-Do this 2 times in a day and several days per week
Precaution: prolonged use of aloe vera on teeth should be avoided as the glycerine content can impede the re-mineralization of the teeth.
The acidic content of lemon is responsible for its antimicrobial properties. When lemon is applied to tartar- stained teeth, it first dissolves and finally removes the plague. Lemon is a natural bleach, hence has whitening effect on teeth.
-Dip a clean toothbrush in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
-Gently apply the juice over your teeth and gum
-Brush thoroughly and leave for about 5 minutes
-Rinse your mouth with warm water
Initially, this should be done every alternate day and once every ten days after a while to maintain your oral health.
Green tea is very rich in polyphenols (EGCG and the likes) which have antimicrobial effects in the mouth. Not only does green tea helps get rid of plaque build up but also reduces inflammation linked to gum diseases. The tea active ingredients cut down the number of bacteria present in the saliva and the mouth at large. Research has shown that this “all-powerful” tea also helps in prevention of periodontal disease.
-To brew the tea, boil cold water in a kettle
-After boiling, allow to sit for about 4 minutes
-Add to a tea bag in preferably a ceramic cup
-Leave for 3 minutes
-Chug down the rousing tea
Note: Get used to taking tea without additives i.e sugar as they reduce the potency of the tea. Black tea, though more processed, can also be used in lieu of green tea.
Both apple cider and white vinegar are effective plague remover and teeth whitener. The acidic content dissolves plagues and kills the plague-causing bacteria that call your mouth home. While the unpleasant taste of vinegar is sometimes a huge turn-off, there are ways of using it in your oral health regimen.
-Dip a cotton ball, cloth or q-tip in vinegar
-Apply gently to teeth, especially the areas with plague
-Rinse with tepid water
Alternatively, you can mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar with 1 teaspoon of baking soda to form a paste. Use the mixture to brush and rinse with clean water as usual.
This will go down well with cheese lovers. Cheese has been shown to prevent plaque formation. It promotes saliva flow, reduces the numbers of plague-causing bacteria and increases the mouth pH. In addition, cheese coats your teeth to prevent acid accumulation and fortifies it with minerals like calcium and phosphate. Therefore, the custom of finishing a meal with cheese in some cultures (i.e., French) is good for the teeth as it helps get rid of plaque build up.
Flossing is one of the best ways of removing plaque. Agreed, it can be a little bit time-taking, but when done the right way, rid the mouth of unsightly plague and bad breath. In fact, dentists rate it higher that brushing in terms of plague remover. Whether you use traditional floss or floss wands depends on your choice. Flossing once per week is good, flossing every day is better as it beneficial to the teeth and by extension, the entire oral cavity.
Tips: Wash your hand properly before flossing
-Break off about 45 cm of floss and wind it on your middle fingers
-Tightly hold the floss between your forefingers and thumbs
-In a gentle rubbing motion, guide the floss between the teeth
-Be careful not to snap the floss into your gums
-While holding the floss tightly, gently rub it up and down the teeth
-Ensure to touch every tooth including those at the rear ends
-Dispose the floss after use and rinse your mouth with clean water.
Other ways to get rid of plaque buildup is by using:
- Vitamin C
- Strawberries and tomatoes
- Hydrogen peroxide and antiseptic oral wash
Hopefully, we’ve shed some new light on the burning quest: how to Get Rid of Plaque build up. While all these are in no way a replacement for proper dental service, these natural, easy-to-do practices will help remove plaque, prevent bad breath, and enhance oral health. People, including me, judge people not only by their appearance but also by their teeth. Therefore, the importance of good oral hygiene cannot be overemphasized. Clean, white, plaque-free teeth boost your confidence, so take good care of them.