Dental Plaque is an accumulation of bacteria that occur on the teeth and adjacent gum tissue. It is also known as biofilm or microbial plaque. The mechanisms of plaque formation have a lot to do with oral hygiene, saliva pH, diet, genes and other dental conditions. If left untreated, bacteria in the biofilm produce acids which can cause tooth decay. This article focuses on why it is important to remove tooth plaque and how to get rid of plaque.
Why You Should Get Rid of Plaque
Plaque grows outside the reach of the body’s immune system. Therefore, plaque cannot be naturally removed by our body’s defenses. The proximity to the gum tissue will eventually cause a mild degree of gum infection (the first stage of gingivitis), as the body tries to prevent the apparition of a more severe infection.
In severe cases, gingivitis can evolve into periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss, gum tissue destruction and even jaw bone damage in some cases.
In addition, plaque can cause cardiovascular disease, as small pieces of plaque can actually enter the bloodstream and give rise to another set of unwanted medical conditions.
Below you will find advice on how to get rid of plaque, from prevention tips, and home remedies to dental care products that fight plaque.
How to Get Rid of Plaque – 4 Efficient Home Remedies
You can use these widely popular home remedies to remove plaque and tartar from teeth.
- Strawberries and Tomatoes – are rich in vitamin C, which will improve your oral health. Make a strawberry and tomato paste, and rub it onto your teeth. Leave it for around 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water. This natural mix will soften the tartar and plaque build-up.
- Eat Hard Fruit and Vegetables – munching on apples, carrots, celery sticks will help soften and remove plaque, while making your teeth whiter and stronger.
- Clean with Baking Soda – this abrasive substance will remove nasty substances from the enamel. Mix one spoon of baking soda with a pinch of salt. Dip a dampen toothbrush into this mixture. All you have to do is brush and rinse as usually.
- Eat Cheese – add aged cheeses, like Cheddar or Swiss to your diet. They neutralize the acids that produce plaque, and re-mineralize teeth. Eating cheese before meals acts like a barrier for plaque.
How to Get Rid of Plaque – Choose the Right Dental Care Products
When you wonder how to get rid of plaque, know what to look for when you buy your dental care products.
- Fluoride – Use fluoridated toothpaste. This substance makes the enamel stronger and even helps decayed teeth regenerate.
- Tartar Control Toothpaste – Look for a tartar control toothpaste, that contains triclosan, and other ingredients that efficiently fight against plaque build-ups, and kill the bacteria stains.
- Antiseptic Cleanser – Use a mouthwash or cleanser that contains hydrogen peroxide. This substance controls the tartar and plaque build-up.
How to Get Rid of Plaque on Teeth – Professional Cleaning
Getting rid of plaque on teeth will require at least one visit to the dentist, depending on how advanced the plaque is. Dentists know exactly how to get rid of plaque, and will use special equipment and substances to remove biofilm and clean your teeth.
The procedure you undergo at the dentist’s is quick and mostly painless, so don’t hesitate to contact a dental specialist if you suspect you need plaque removal and tooth cleansing.
Do NOT attempt to use various tools to remove plaque from your teeth at home. You have a good chance of damaging your enamel (the hard, non-regenerating, outer layer of the tooth). Without the special tools and expertise, removing plaque by yourself can do more harm than good.
How to Get Rid of Plaque – Prevention
It goes without saying that the best way to circumvent the entire set of problems plaque can bring is prevention. Greatly diminish the chances of developing plaque by doing the following things:
- Thoroughly brush and floss at least twice a day. An absolute must, it will prevent any harmful bacteria from establishing a foothold on your teeth and gums. When brushing, remember to give the inner side of your teeth equal attention and to make sure that even less accessible spaces are cleaned.
- Go to the dentist at least three times a year. The dentist has ways of detecting plaque which you most likely don’t. As such, you might have plaque and not know it and going to the dentist is the best way to tackle this issue early on, before it becomes more serious. The main way dentists identify plaque is visually. Before saying that you could also do this, know that some types of plaque are actually quite inconspicuous and require a trained eye to spot them. In addition, your dentist might use special dyes to highlight areas of your teeth which are affected by plaque.
- Ditch junk food and sweets and go for the Mediterranean diet. The additive-saturated, sugar-coated (literally), and mass-produced food we normally eat fully earns its “junk” status, as it will harm your body in a multitude of ways. Ditch the hamburgers and go for roasted vegetables, olive oil, seeds, and fish. The result will surely impress. Remember that the stereotype of the Italian smile with perfectly white teeth does have a grain of truth after all.
- Use antibacterial mouthwash. After brushing, it would help to use some kind of antibacterial mouthwash to make sure you delay bacterial accumulation until your next brushing session. Before choosing a mouthwash, it would greatly help if you would consult your dentist and doctor before. Some people have hidden allergies which pop up in the most unexpected moments, and you could be one of them. Thus, make sure you choose a mouthwash to suit your medical particularities.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is wrong in so many ways. It takes some willpower to stop, but doing so will greatly slow down the build-up of dental plaque.
How to Get Rid of Plaque – Conclusions
Getting rid of plaque basically comes down to taking good care of yourself. Eat healthy food, fruit, vegetables. Have cheesy snakes, clean your teeth, use the right dental care products, visit your dentist, and don’t engage in destructive habits. It’s as simple as that.
What was your experience with plaque and tartar? Do you have other tips on how to get rid of plaque? Share your thoughts below!