Taking Care of Plaque and Tartar at Home

Taking Care of Plaque and Tartar at Home
Taking Care of Plaque and Tartar at Home
August 28, 2016

It starts as plaque- sticky, paste-like film on teeth. If it is not removed, within two days the plaque will harden into tartar. Plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of the gums, bad breath, and lead to cavities in the teeth. However, with regular dental visits (twice per year) and consistent care at home, these problems will stay away.

Regular Brushing is the Initial Step

Brushing should be done twice a day minimum. Ideally, try to brush after each meal or snack. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and smaller head.  Replace the toothbrush every three months. Brush for two minutes. Use the small brush head to reach all the spots in the mouth such as back teeth, behind teeth, and inside the tooth line. Hold the brush at a forty-five-degree angle to allow the bristles to clean the gap between teeth and gums. Consider finishing your brushing routine by brushing the top surface of your tongue as well as the roof of your mouth. Be careful about the pressure you apply so that the bristles stay in good shape.

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Floss for Flawlessness

Use floss once a day. A thicker, wider floss may be best such as a “dentotape.” It may be best do your flossing before bedtime. Contrary to popular belief, it is not critical to do flossing and brushing in a particular order. The important thing is to do both. Flossing is sometimes seen as an optional “nice to have” item. However, flossing is essential. Flossing loosens food particles between teeth and the act of flossing stimulates the gums promoting health.

Mouth Rinse for Complete Care

Brushing and flossing are essential. For added benefit, consider a mouth rinse or mouthwash. The best ones available are those that have both chlorhexidine and fluoride, such as Curasept ADS 205. Avoid mouthwashes that have alcohol or with a pH that is too acidic. Overtime, these will do more harm than good. Rinse your mouth once daily with your high quality mouthwash.

Choose a High Quality Toothpaste

When you brush, use a high quality toothpaste. Only brush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. A small amount of paste is all that is needed; about the size of a pea. Brush thoroughly. Toothpastes with triclosan can help keep tartar from forming.

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Watch Your Diet

Plaque thrives on sugary or starchy foods. Avoid these kinds of foods, especially as between meal snacks. If you need a snack, consider plain yogurt, fruit, cheese, or raw vegetables.  Some foods, like celery, help your saliva counteract plaque-causing conditions.

Stop Using Tobacco

Several studies have shown that tobacco users tend to have more plaque and tartar build up. To steer clear of problems, cut out tobacco use. This will also help you keep your breath fresher too.

Make Your DIY Dental Paste

It is not for every day, but this paste can be used a few times a week to supplement your regular toothpaste.  Just mix two tablespoons of baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a thick paste. Very gently massage the gum line and around the gums, and then brush your teeth. It is important to use a toothbrush with very soft bristles. Leave the paste in place for one minute. Then finish with a warm salt water rinse. Be sure to rinse off all traces of the paste.

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White Vinegar for a Healthy Mouth

Make a mouth rinse with white vinegar. Mix two teaspoons of white vinegar with one teaspoon of salt in a glass of one-half cup of water. Rinse and swish this around your mouth twice a day. This should be used several times a week to help re-mineralize the teeth to strengthen them.

An Apple after Meals

Wait one half hour after eating, then eat a raw apple. The chewing action plus increased saliva will help cleanse your mouth of leftover food stuffs. It will chase away acids from the meal too. The apple will help both teeth and gums.

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Article highlights

  • Plaque and tartar will build up on teeth causing problems with the gums, bad breath, and cavities.
  • Brush for two minutes.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use a mouthwash with fluoride and ideally one with chlorhexidine.
  • Choose a high-quality fluoride toothpaste.
  • Eat healthy snacks that are not too sugary or too starchy.
  • Stop smoking to reduce plaque, tartar, and improve your breath.
  • Use a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide 2-3 times per week.
  • Remineralize and freshen your mouth using white vinegar and salt.
  • Eat an apple about a half hour after a meal.

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