Removing Plaque & Tartar
There is no better feeling than after that first initial dentist appointment after a few months. Knowing that your mouth is completely fresh and clean can give you great peace of mind and allow you to feel much more refreshed in yourself. However, there is a way to achieve this feeling of freshness and relief without the use of a dentist, or hygienist.
Get used to this unparalleled feeling, and experience sparkly, white teeth all day every day, regardless of when your next dentist appointment is. This article will list the very few, minor changes that you can put into practice, in order to leave you with sparkly, clean teeth all year round!
The reason why our teeth tend to feel less fresh and clean, after taking a break from the dentist is due to the build-up of a sticky, film-like substance known as Plaque. However, the build-up of this material can be controlled and avoided with relative ease, with just a few tips and home remedies, along with efficient cleaning of the teeth. Your diet and lifestyle is also another key contributor to the build-up of Plaque. Here at Dental Arch, we can ensure that your smile glistens brightly all year round, with our best tips and tricks on how to remove plaque.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, film-like bacteria that builds up on our teeth when they aren’t cleaned regularly. This layer of bacteria can be found covering your teeth and gums and can be recognised easily due to its yellowish tone and fuzzy texture. Not only is plaque rather ugly to experience, but when left to build up things like gum disease and tooth decay can occur.
How to get rid of plaque
The best way to get rid of Plaque is to try and avoid it all together. Regular brushing of your teeth, at least twice a day, is the best way to prevent plaque from building up and get rid of any bacteria which has occurred. Conducting basic hygiene is a great way to keep your teeth free from plaque, along with a few simple diet and lifestyle alterations.
The most important hygiene measures that you should be putting into practice every day, are things like regular flossing and brushing of your teeth. These are the most fundamental ways to remove plaque from your mouth and prevent it from building up.
To dive a little deeper into flossing, this method is great for removing bits of Plaque that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush.
The best time to floss is before brushing your teeth, and we recommend doing it before every brush. Flossing is not only great for dislodging any trapped food from between our teeth but is also amazing for removing any plaque which may have formed along your gum line, as a toothbrush can’t usually reach these areas.
In order to floss effectively and remove as much Plaque as possible, we recommend taking around 30-40cm of floss and gripping it firmly with both of your hands.
Take this floss and slip it nicely between two of your teeth, as far as it will go against the gum, gently make around 8-10 strokes with the floss and be sure to make contact with both of the teeth, this way any trapped food, or built up Plaque should be displaced with ease.
The most effective and efficient way to remove or prevent any plaque from building up is by brushing your teeth at least twice a day. A soft toothbrush is the best tool for the job.
This toothbrush should be replaced every couple of months or so, the best way to know when your toothbrush is reaching the end of its life is if the bristles are beginning to fray. This is a good time to replace it with a new toothbrush.
The most effective way to remove Plaque while brushing is through the use of an electric toothbrush as opposed to manual toothbrushes, so once your brush reaches its end, it may be a good idea to consider an electric replacement.
In order to ensure that you are brushing your teeth effectively, use an amount of toothpaste similar to the size of an average pea.
Hold your toothbrush at around a 45° angle to your gums, in order to be in the most comfortable, and effective position. Brush the toothpaste into your teeth, gently but firmly, moving in a circular motion.
Whilst brushing your teeth be sure to clean every single surface, spending time focusing on the front, the back and the places where you chew.
Another great way to prevent Plaque buildup is through the use of a healthy diet, some foods, in particular, are great for preventing Plaque buildup in your mouth.
Not only would this be great for your oral health, but a healthy diet is a great way to benefit your entire body!
Your immune system can reap huge benefits from a good diet, and it can also strengthen your bones and improve your skin.
Fruit and veg are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins and fibre, which are great for general health and even oral health. However, some fresh produce is great for plaque prevention due to its crunchiness.
Apples, celery, and other raw fruit and veg stimulate saliva flow. Saliva is a natural defence against plaque, as it contains antibacterial properties.
PLAQUE REMOVAL HOME REMEDIES
There are plenty of effective home remedies which can help to combat the build-up of Plaque across your teeth and gums.
One of these home remedies involves oils. Coconut and Olive oils are great for your teeth and oral health, these substances can work wonders for preventing Plaque from building up in your mouth.
All you have to do is rinse your mouth out with the oils, as you would with mouthwash, and watch the Plaque be removed from your teeth and gums in no time. This is also a great way to soothe sore gums and can be used as a form of pain relief.
Coconut oil is great for this as it contains fatty acids, which means that it can have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects on your mouth and gums!
Baking soda is another great way to remove plaque from your mouth. This is because of how abrasive it is, this is why it is fantastic for physically scrubbing away the plaque from our teeth.
In addition to this, it can also act as a natural cleanser. Brushing your pearly whites with baking soda not only removes plaque but can also prevent the plaque from growing back.
Oils such as coconut oil or olive oil can benefit our teeth and prevent plaque from building up in our mouths. Simply swishing a mouthful of oil around the teeth and gums can remove plaque, as well as soothe sore gums.
Coconut oil, for example, contains fatty acids and anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. These are great for our teeth and preventing plaque.
Leaving plaque to build up allows bacteria to create harmful acids through feeding on sugars we eat. This can damage our teeth and cause cavities.
A heavy build-up of plaque eventually turns into tartar. A good way to prevent tartar from occurring is by quitting smoking. Studies have found that smokers tend to develop more plaque and tartar on their teeth than non-smokers. In the long-term, this can lead to issues such as gum disease.
The chemicals found in tobacco make it harder for our saliva to naturally clean our mouths, making it easier for plaque to build up on teeth and gums.
Stopping smoking is also great for your health in many other ways, including reducing the risk of cancers in the lungs, throat and mouth.
HOW DOES TARTAR AFFECT OUR TEETH AND MOUTHS?
Tartar accumulates on our teeth when a build-up of plaque is not removed. Plaque and tartar are similar, however, tartar is what occurs when plaque isn’t removed and gets left to harden.
Tartar is formed when plaque and minerals in our salvia mix, which forms a hard deposit. Tartar can appear above and below the gumline.
As tartar is more difficult to remove than plaque, it is more harmful to our teeth and gums. Tartar contains bacteria that can irritate our gums. As tartar is so difficult to remove, this can lead to progressive gum disease, such as gingivitis, if left untreated by a dental professional.
Gums and teeth can also become infected by tartar. In serious cases, tartar can reach between our teeth and gums. Our immune systems try to counter the bacteria found in plaque, which can damage the bones and tissue which hold our teeth in place.
Tartar is much harder than plaque, meaning it is much more difficult to remove. Even brushing and flushing cannot remove tartar.
If tartar forms, it will need to be removed by a dentist. It is removed using the scale and polish technique, which involves the tartar being picked off the teeth.
Once the tartar has been removed, regular brushing, flossing, and dental appointments are the best way to prevent tartar from returning.
Being proactive and caring for your teeth properly is the most effective method of plaque removal and prevention. Plaque can be removed with regular brushing, flossing and also by using an antiseptic mouthwash. We would still recommend twice-yearly visits to the dentist, however, as hygienists can clean our mouths more effectively as well as offer advice and guidance on oral health.
Tartar, however, is more difficult to remove and must be done so by a dental professional. Once removed, regular cleaning and dental visits are the most effective ways of preventing tartar. If left untreated, tartar can cause serious issues such as gum disease and other infections.