Plaque is the reason why we brush our teeth every day. Dental plaque is the sticky, colorless or pale-yellow buildup of bacteria that form regularly on your teeth. When food particle combines with saliva, they produce this build up which collects at the junction of teeth and gum and forms a thin film on the surfaces of teeth. Apart from visiting a dentist, do you know how to remove plaque from teeth at home? You can follow several natural plaque removal techniques such as coconut oil pulling, rubbing teeth with orange peel or aloe vera, chewing sesame seeds, etc.
Plaque contains acid producing bacteria and some organic matters on which the bacteria feed. Acids in the plaque attack the teeth enamel and can gradually damage the gums. If the deposition of plaque is not removed, it can turn into tartar.
Tarter is a hardened form of a plaque and can be of yellow or brown color. Plaque buildup can lead to gingivitis and gum disease.
Let’s see in detail how to remove plaque from teeth through simple home remedies.
- Also read: Difference Between Plaque and Tarter
What is Plaque
It is a soft deposit that forms a thin slimy, colorless film of bacteria and sugar adhering to the tooth surface or other hard surfaces of the oral cavity, including removable and the fixed restoration.
Biofilm mainly consists of proliferating microorganism, along with a scattering of epithelial cells, leukocytes, and macrophages. Plaque is the leading cause of all dental problems and can harden into tartar if not removed daily.
Types of plaque (based on the area where the plaque is formed)
If the plaque is formed above the gingival margin, it is called supragingival. It is further differentiated into –
Plaque formed on the surfaces of the tooth is called as coronal plaque.
Supragingival Plaque indirect associated with the tooth surface at the gingival margin is referred to an as marginal plaque.
It is found below the gingival margin, between the tooth and gingival sulcular tissue. It is further differentiated into
Tooth Attached plaque
- This plaque is composed of Gram-positive bacteria of rods and cocci shaped.
- It does not extend to the junctional epithelium.
- Tooth attached plaque results into calculus formation and root caries
- Plaque may penetrate and damage cementum.
- Unattached plaque composed of gram-negative rods, filaments, spirochetes.
- It may extend to the junctional epithelium.
- It can cause gingivitis and other gum diseases.
Plaque attached to the epithelium
- Both gram-positive and negative bacteria thrive in this type of plaque.
- It extends to the junctional epithelium.
- It can lead to gingivitis, periodontitis, and dental caries.
- May penetrate epithelium and connective tissue
Things to keep in mind for healthy plaque free teeth
Routine cleaning of teeth is the principal method an individual must practice to reduce plaque buildup. Uncontrolled plaque increases the risk of many plaque associated diseases like gingivitis, periodontitis, and caries.
These are few of methods of cleaning tooth that one must practice –
- Brush your teeth twice a day; after breakfast and before going to bed.
- Brushing should be done for a minimum of 2 minutes.
- Fluoride should be the prime ingredient of toothpaste.
- Brushing should be done with proper technique. (1)
- One can also opt for an electric toothbrush.
- Flossing can remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and below.
- According to the American Dental Association, 80% of plaque can be removed by this method.
- It should be done once a day.
- It should be done with proper technique for effective result.
- Mouthwash with antibacterial properties should be used to reduce bacteria.
- It can be used twice in 24 hours.
- If allergic to alcohol-based mouthwash, one can opt warm salt water.
- Sugary and starchy food should be avoided.
- Snacks should be limited and should be nutritious.
- Fruits, green vegetables, and yogurts should be included in the diet.
- Vegetables like Celery help saliva to neutralize plaque- causing acid.
- Add organic and natural food supplements to your diet.
- Smoking increases the chance of plaque formation, and so smoking should be avoided.
- Chewing of tobacco should be stopped completely as it can also cause gum diseases and cancer in frequent consumers of tobacco.
- The mouth should be rinsed with water after every meal.
- Avoid eating junk food.
- Too much caffeine also plays a significant role in the formation of plaque. Routine dental checkup
- Must visit dental hygienist after every six months to avoid the buildup of plaque at the areas where the brush cannot reach.
- Clean-up of plaque reduces the chances of tooth decay.
How to remove plaque from teeth naturally?
1. Orange peel
Orange peel helps in keeping the teeth free of microbes. All you need to do is rub the peel on the surfaces of teeth, leave it for a few seconds and rinse away with water. You notice the instant result.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera has antimicrobial properties and it can kill the plaque-forming bacteria and fights bad breath. Rub the pulp inside of aloe vera leave on your teeth. Keep it on for 10 minutes then rinse off with water. For best result use this twice a day.
3. Baking soda
Baking soda has an ability to neutralize the acids present in mouth reducing the population of plaque-causing bacteria. Make a paste of baking soda adding a pinch of salt.
Brush your teeth with the paste it helps you get rid of plaque. Do not overdo this may cause abrasion to teeth enamel.
It is most commonly used home ingredient for a toothache and gum swellings. It can also be used in removing plaque due to its ability to fight with microbes. You can chew 1 or 2 cloves routinely to fight against the bacteria and also it keeps your mouth fresh.
5. Oil pulling
It is an ancient Indian method of swishing mouth with coconut oil to get rid of many health problems including the formation of bacterial plaque on the teeth.
You can use coconut oil which is natural and organic. Preferably unrefined olive and coconut oil can be used. It should be done twice a week. Do not use more than a tablespoon.
Vinegar not only helps in the prevention of demineralization of enamel but also in plaque buildup. Make a mixture of two tablespoons of white vinegar, one tablespoon of salt and eight tablespoons of water. Use it as a mouth rinse and do it once or twice a day.
Both guava fruit and leaves are considered as one of the excellent antiplaque. You can chew the leaves till you consume the juice then spit it out. You can also chew unripened guava with a bit of salt in it. Both can be done daily once or twice.
8. Sesame seeds
One can also chew sesame seed as it acts as an effective dental scrub. Take few seeds of sesame and brush your teeth while it is in your mouth then rinse it with regular water.
9. Twig of Salvadora persica (meswak)
Cleaning the teeth with the twig of Salvadore persica (2) is a common practice in India, It exhibits antibacterial properties which help in controlling the dental plaque buildup.
Fig can help in cleaning and strengthening of the teeth and gums. It increases the secretion of saliva by stimulating salivary gland. Fig can be chewed every day after meal for cleaning the plaque buildup.
Over to you on the plaque removal
One can also go to a dental hygienist for an active and advanced procedure of plaque removal. Scaling and cleaning of teeth with ultrasonic scalers are one among those.
The plaque should never be ignored as it is the primary cause of all the dental problems. With time plaque calcifies and forms tarter which further cause caries and cavities.