What is plaque and tartar?
Plaque is the term used for food deposits on our teeth is( usually has a white to cream color) it is caused by bacteria which forms a biofuel on your teeth from food particles and saliva. Tartar also known as calculus is not plaque it is formed when plaque is hardened between teeth on on the teeth .Mature plaque is like community of different bacteria with various duties .Theses bacteria are only harmless if they do not form tartar once they do in 24 hour disease forming plaque and then tartar can form once not removed. Most person have less plaque on their anterior teeth which are your incisors and canines and more on the posterior those are the molars and premolars which are all loss by age 50 because of bad dental care due to plaque. Even with everyday brushing and flossing many persons teeth get plaque resulting in tartar buildup between to 1 to 3 leading to gingivitis and bad breath.
Why would you clean your plaque and tartar at home ?
There are person who are literally afraid of the dentist or just cannot pay $100 to $300 to see them so their only option is to DIY themselves at home .
You can see the plaque on your teeth by using Disclosing tablets , these tablets are made of a harmless vegetable dye.It’s hard to see plaque with the naked eye but with these tablets its stains the teeth and highlight where plaque is located .Look at the picture all the areas which have the red color has plaque . You can use disclosing tablets by chewing it then swish it around your mouth then rinse with some water .You will now see all the areas which has plaque and you can brush and floss away them away . Disclosing tablets are great to have in your home to teach children to brush their teeth correctly by showing them the calculus build up or the plaque there toothbrush missed. Check it out.
What options you have to remove plaque and tartar at home ?
1. Use Plax Advanced Formula Plaque Loosening Rinse
My sister has been flossing and using Plax for 10 years now because she was so afraid of deep cleaning .Whenever the family gets her to the dentist because she is so scared of them they are always surprised what good condition her teeth is in. Plax is made of an ingredient called tetrasodium pyrophosphate acts as a tartar control agent, serving to remove calcium and magnesium from saliva and thus preventing them from being deposited on teeth. Plax does not work if used alone . For success it you must rinse your mouth for 30 second to 1 minute before brushing and flossing to loosen up the plaque if you have thick layers of plaque it can take about 4 to 6 week to see success . Some studies on Plax mouthwash was done but result were inconclusive but did show some minimal removal of plaque. According to a number of customer on Amazon it does work for them. Check it out.
2.Periogen “Hygienist-clean” Tartar Removing Oral Rinse
Any dentist will tell you that the key to prevent gum disease is to remove the tartar. Periogen makers claim this is the alternative to remove tartar at home its the world’s first dental tartar remover that has been used for years by dentist. Periogen has been tested by Nelson Labs,SLC Utah for home safety use following FDA guidelines to progressively and safely removes dental tartar .
Helps stop bleeding gums, oral bacteria, Gum Disease (Gingivitis), and Periodontal Disease.Recommended by dental professionals.
HOW TO USE PERIOGEN ?
(a) You can use with a waterpik (this is the most effective method) which I will discuss later in this post. Periogen is in a powder form you can add one to two scoop in the waterpik reservoir depending on the thickness of the tartar. Use warm water which will make cleaning easier on your gum.Apply for two to three week for full results.
(b) Use Periogen when brushing by apply a scoop to a cup of warm water add some natural or simple toothpaste to your toothbrush stir the toothbrush in the warm mixture and brush repeat again until satisfied.
(c) The swishing method is done by placing a scoop of the powder in a warm glass of water and swish for about 1 minute then brush with natural tooth or regular toothpaste.
I haven’t seen any studies which prove that is does work except from the makers themselves , but it get great reviews from customers. Check it out.
3. Activated Charcoal for Tartar and plaque removal.
Activated charcoal is a natural way to remove tartar and plaque it use can date back to over 3000 year, long before we had toothpaste to brush our teeth . It has a number of medical uses such as removing poison and toxins from our body ,whitening teeth getting rid of bad breath and removing tartar which we will be looking at .
How to use activated charcoal for teeth cleaning?
(a) Make a toothpaste
1/3 cup charcoal powder
2/3 cup raw, organic, unrefined coconut oil
peppermint essential oil (food grade) 3 drops or more to your taste/optional mix them to form the paste.
(b)Buy a charcoal toothpaste
(c) You can also buy activated charcoal it cost about $5 a bottle apply it on your toothpaste when brushing . Read more about activated charcoal there uses and side effects.
4. Use toothpaste with tetrasodium pyrophosphate and Triclosan to remove tartar
Tartar or calculus is formed when calcium and phosphate bind in your mouth they form crystals these crystal harden and thus you have tartar . Using toothpaste with tetrasodium pyrophosphate helps to prevent tartar from forming by removing calcium and magnesium from our saliva inhibiting the formation of calculus. A clinical study on tartar was done over 12 week period using toothpaste with tetrasodium pyrophosphate and sodium tripolyphosphate on 73 subjects who had a Volpe Manhold Calculus Index of 7.0 and greater. After the twelve weeks the subjects saw a 43.5 % reduction in Calculus Index score. Triclosan is an antimicrobial which clinical studies shows kills the germs between our teeth and gum but some dentists believe this is not that important ingredient once we keep our mouth clean. These toothpaste can be easily be found in your local store check them out.
5. Natural home remedies for removing plaque and tartar( calculus ).
For persons who don’t care too much for chemicals there are 4 home remedies you can try.
(a) you can make a natural tooth using 1/2 cup coconut oil ,3 spoons of baking powder,2 little packets of stevia powder and 20 drops of peppermint oil for flavour.
(b)Rub orange peel also called rind on your teeth and leave it on for an hour then brush . Orange peel has an oil called limonene which is safe solvent for breaking down plaque .
(c)This is a very old method used by people in Africa ,chew some sesame seeds then brush your teeth the oil in the seed are known to breakdown tartar.Note many people are allergic sesame seeds so be careful.
(d) Place a teaspoon of baking soda and salt in a bowl mix them ,rub on your toothbrush and brush your teeth .Ensure you cover all areas which has plaque.
6 .Use At home Professional Water Flosser to remove tartar
Water flossing is the most effective method of flossing to remove plaque and tartar base on a number of clinical studies done(2) (3) . With the force of water it removes plaque from your tooth in areas where your toothbrush and string floss would not reach . To obtain the best result from a water floss you should use warm water along with a solution to soften the plaque such as the Plax or Periogen. You can read more about the types of water flossers here.
7. Get a Professional Clean With Dental Scrapers
These are professional dental tartar scraper they come with three or more pieces the mains ones are a dental pick which cleans particles between the teeth it works like a dental floss, the dental scraper is a metal hook which is used for scraping the plaque and tartar from your teeth and under your gum and last we have the dental mouth mirror which is used to help you see difficult area in the mouth. These tool are not easy to use so it advisable to watch videos on YouTube how to use them yourself , or have someone with experience use them on you . Also use a tartar softener such as the two discussed above before using the pick and scraper to make the job easier.
Even though the above mechanisms can partly or fully help to remove plaque and tartar at some point you should see a dental professional because he or she would be able to see dental problem you cannot recognise.