First of all... What is plaque?
Plaque (also known as dental biofilm) is formed as a result of substances gathering in our mouth after eating or drinking, appearing as a white or pale yellow "slime layer" between the teeth and along the cervical margins (the surface touching the gum). The substance consists of food debris, bacteria and bacterial waste, possibly leading to oral complications such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Although the formation of plaque is normal for everyone and cannot be stopped, controlling it is one of the most important things in dental care. This is because plaque may become acidic, leading to the demineralisation of the teeth or tartar.
What is tartar?
If plaque remains untreated, it can harden and turn into what is called tartar or calculus. It can form both along the gum line, and also within the narrow sulcus, found between the teeth and the gingiva. Tartar may be the cause of bad breath, receding gums and chronically-inflamed gingiva, as well as further formation of plaque.
When plaque becomes tartar, it becomes far more difficult to remove and would require clinical help. Tartar formation is not only connected to oral hygiene, but also tobacco use, drugs, age, diet, and genetics.
What can you do to treat and prevent plaque build-up?
There's a lot you can do prevent plaque from forming on your teeth and leading on to something more serious, such as tartar. To begin with, it is important to get checked regularly by a dentist to make sure your teeth and gums are in good shape. Secondly, we recommend that you try some of the best natural techniques that can rid your mouth from plaque in some simple steps. Here are some excellent methods that are tried and tested:
THE 8 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PLAQUE
1. Brushing with baking soda and salt
The combination of these two ingredients is one of the safest and most effective ways to help you eliminate plaque. Combine one tablespoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Dip a wet toothbrush into the mixture and brush your teeth with it. Repeat this a few times to achieve great results.
2. Munching apples
One of the solutions is in your very own dessert. Snacking on apples or melon just after a meal is one of the best natural ways of cleaning your teeth and gums from remaining bits of food, as well as eliminating plaque.
3. Rubbing orange peel
Before brushing your teeth, grab a piece of orange peel and rub the inner (white) part against your teeth's surface for about two minutes. Performing this ritual on a regular basis will not only render your teeth polished and whitened, but will prevent plaque build-up due to the vitamin C found in the orange peel.
4. Using other fruit rich in Vitamin C
In addition to oranges, there are various other fruits that can do wonders for your dental health. Opt for Vitamin C-rich fruit, such as strawberries, to boost your immune system and help fight off oral infections. Take full advantage of their benefits by rubbing them against your teeth and consuming them.
5. Scrubbing with sesame seeds
Sesame seeds may also help you get rid of plaque, due to properties that enable them to act as a great abrasive to clear and polish your teeth. Simply grind them against your teeth, then remove the leftover pieces using a dry toothbrush.
6. Brush with coconut oil paste
Surprisingly, coconut is incredibly beneficial for your dental health. Protect your teeth from plaque by combining two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil and two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl to make a paste. Then, use the paste as a natural toothpaste to reap the effective benefits. Feel free to also add any essential oil of your choice to the mixture (such as peppermint).
7. Using aloe vera
Just as aloe vera is great for our skin, it's also perfect for soothing our teeth and gums. Studies have shown that aloe vera can improve plaque and periodontal conditions and maintain hygiene in our mouth. Simply apply some aloe vera to your toothbrush and use it as toothpaste.
8. Rinse with hydrogen peroxide
The properties of hydrogen peroxide make it ideal to be used for oral health. Make a mouthwash consisting of three parts water (or prepared mouthwash) and one part 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Swish, gargle, and rinse well for one minute daily. This will act as an astringent and teeth whitener, as well as help remove plaque and loosen tartar.
Remember some other important tips:
• Brush your teeth regularly and effectively: If you want to avoid plaque accumulation, take this as a rule of thumb. Use a soft-bristled brush and brush up and down, carefully reaching and brushing each tooth.
• Visit your dentist regularly: Don't forget to get your teeth checked every so often.
• Drink water: Water is a way of rinsing your mouth from food particles after eating a meal. Make sure you drink enough water each time.
• Don't forget dental flossing: Use dental floss to clean the areas between your teeth at least once a day (although twice is ideal).