See those nasty-looking yellow substance settling around your teeth close to your gums?
That’s tartar. It has an older sister named plaque. They both attack the enamel coating of your teeth and cause different dental problems such as cavities, tooth decay, bad breath and gum diseases.
Generally, proper dental hygiene practices and regular visits to your dentist for checkup and cleaning are enough to keep these nasty bacteria at bay.
But, did you know there’s more you can do at home to reduce the production of tartar and plaque?
Some of them are from what you eat and some of them are simple items found in your cupboard. And much like everything else, results don’t come after one application! You need to keep at it for a while before you really SEE and FEEL the difference.
Take a look at these different ways you can reduce tartar and plaque at home.
1. Baking Soda
Many people have been using baking soda as a teeth whitening home remedy and have sworn by how effective it is. But, the reason why it’s so effective at whitening teeth is because it gets rid of the tartar and plaque building up around the teeth.
Getting rid of the yellow tartar and plaque not only leads to healthier and stronger teeth but to a whiter smile as well!
Simply mix one part baking soda to two parts water and mix until you make a pasty mixture. Use a toothbrush to apply it on your teeth and brush with circular motions. Do this for about two minutes then rinse thoroughly.
Make sure you get in between and inner sides of your teeth. Heads up though! You will salivate a lot and might find it a bit salty but that’s okay! You can spit it out and apply more as you go.
Gargling with warm water and salt helps kill bacteria living in your mouth. Salt water has always had relieving properties that also helps with sore throats and cold sores.
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gargle. You can also add a pinch of salt to your baking soda mixture since it’s also great for whitening!
Acid is great at dissolving bacteria. Bacteria feeds on sugar and starch so it’s only natural that acidic elements are their arch nemesis. They can’t stand acid, making vinegar a great tartar reducer.
Though this will surely make you cringe, it’s one of the home remedies that really works. Mix a teaspoon of salt and 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar (apple cider or white) in a cup of warm water then gargle for 30-45 seconds every mouthful.
4. Orange Peels
Rubbing orange peels on your teeth helps get rid of tartar and plaque because of its acid content. The fiber on the peels also serve as a brush to brush off the building tartar.
Another way is to use a food processor and make an applicable paste with the peels. Lather it on your teeth and leave it to rest for a while. Then, rinse the paste off.
You will find it very effective in giving your teeth that white shine.
5. Lemon Juice
Because lemons have a more potent citric acid content than oranges, applying lemon juice directly onto your teeth can actually damage your enamel coating. So, you dilute it or use the peels instead.
You can mix a teaspoon of juice, a teaspoon of water, a pinch of salt and one part baking soda to make a paste. And, with the same process as the baking soda paste, use a toothbrush to apply it onto your teeth, brushing with a circular motion in between gaps and behind as well.
As for the peels, you can also use a food processor to make a paste. You can also add tomatoes!
6. Virgin Coconut Oil
There’s a process called oil pulling. This is where you swish, not gargle, extra virgin coconut oil in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes.
After swishing the oil around, you spit it out, rinse your mouth and proceed with normal brushing. Do this regularly to help tartar and plaque slide off when you brush.
Aside from this benefit, virgin coconut oil is also anti-inflammatory and has antimicrobial properties that decreases bacteria in your mouth.
7. Sesame Oil
There’s this really old holistic healing treatment in India called the Ayurvedic treatment. A practitioner uses different medical oils and sesame oil is one of them.
Gargling warm sesame oil helps kill bacteria in the mouth thus reducing the plaque and tartar build up and the risk of gum disease.
Simply swish a mouthful of sesame oil around twice a day and rinse. What’s even better is sesame oil taste so much better than other oils!
8. Sesame Seeds
The oil isn’t the only kind that’s useful! You can give your teeth a “dental scrub” by chewing on sesame seeds.
Don’t swallow them though! You take a dry toothbrush and brush your teeth with the seeds. This acts as a scrub and removes dried and built up tartar and plaque.
Milk is a very high in calcium and calcium doesn’t only strengthen the bones. They also strengthen teeth particularly the coating around it.
Drink more milk. Simple as that! Oh, it wouldn’t hurt to include other high calcium foods such as yogurt to your diet. Unless, of course, you’re lactose intolerant.
Important tip: don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle. Milk also has acid that can cause severe tooth decay if left unrinsed overnight.
Cheese is a dairy product which means it’s also high in calcium that strengthens your teeth. Some studies claims and suggest that the aging process of the fatty acids in cheese also develops antibacterial properties.
Cheese also increases your saliva production, keeping your mouth hydrated and making it harder for plaque to cling to your teeth.
They’re not only for dessert! Strawberries naturally have acid in them which helps with whitening teeth. Simply rub the juice onto your teeth and let it rest for 5 minutes or so.
Rinse thoroughly with a glass of warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda.
Did you know chewing on figs increases your saliva productions? And, did you know your saliva has antibacterial properties?
Chew on three to four figs at a time and make sure you chew them as well as possible to stimulate saliva production. More saliva means less chances of plaque sticking!
13. Black Tea
Fluoride is needed to keep the enamel around your teeth strong. And though most teas are said to cause stains on your teeth, black tea isn’t one of them.
Black tea has loads of fluoride that suppresses the growth of bacteria. Simply drop a tea bag in hot water and let it steep for six minutes.
Squeeze the tea bag into the cup and use it to rinse your mouth.
14. Green Tea
Known to have antibacterial properties, green tea is great to rinse your mouth with. Simply brew a bag in a mug of hot water and let it steep.
Rinse with it after meals!
Have you ever noticed that dental filling has a hint of clove in the way it tastes and smells? That’s because cloves contain eugenol which is a natural antiseptic and anesthetic.
You can use 1 teaspoon of powdered cloves moistened with olive oil to make a paste. You can compact it in areas where you have pain or spread it across the surface of your teeth to help cleanse the tartar off.
In addition, cloves are great pain relievers for wisdom tooth extractions!
To this day, dentists still use eugenol in fillings. You might notice the clove smell and taste on your next filling session!
16. Spicy Foods
Dental scientists say that spicy food decreases tartar and plaque levels in your mouth. Spicy food is known to be a great antioxidant and has lots of antibacterial properties.
You might have already experienced how great spicy foods are at detoxing your bowels and getting rid of the unwanted toxins in your body!
You can do the same in your mouth. Spicy food induces higher saliva production which is something tartar and plaque hate!
So, indulge on those spicy salsa you like so much!
17. Tartar Control Toothpaste
If you want something already formulated for use, you can buy a tartar control toothpaste. Your dentist can recommend a good brand.
Tartar control toothpaste are laced with antibiotics that are meant to kill mouth bacteria. Use it normally with your dental hygiene routine.
18. Fluoridated Toothpaste
This would most likely be the first thing your dentist would recommend. Fluoride strengthens the enamel coating that protects your teeth from plaque.
There are plenty of different fluoridated toothpaste brands to choose from. You can ask your dentist for a recommendation or if your usual brand has one that has higher fluoride content, go for that.
19. Soft Toothbrush
Hard bristled toothbrushes can damage your enamel especially if you have a habit of being rough brusher. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using soft bristle brush for daily use to prevent the wearing out of enamel.
Brush in a steady motion gently. Brushing too hard or too roughly can wear your enamel out faster.
20. Electric Toothbrush
It isn’t a must to opt for something advanced. But, for some, especially those who no longer have the nimbleness to keep up a gentle steady stroke, an electric toothbrush might help.
All they have to do is to move it horizontally or vertically to make sure all nooks and crannies are reached.
Summing It Up
Among all these home remedies, the most important is developing a healthy dental hygiene habit and practicing it with dedication. That includes brushing at least three times a day and flossing.
It’s also important to visit your dentist for checkups and cleaning regularly. These home remedies help but don’t put all your laurels on them and skip seeing your dentist. Professional opinions and procedures are still more helpful and trusted!
Author Bio: The Friendly Dental Group is one of the largest and fastest-growing dental practices in Charlotte and surrounding areas of the Carolinas, providing a wide range of dental care services, including; teeth whitening, extractions, braces and Invisalign, dentures, tooth fillings, and many other dental care procedures.