5 Tips to (Safely) Remove Plaque and Tartar From Teeth

BY Hook Webmaster  |  October 5th, 2023
Hook Webmaster

There’s a reason why older adults will tell you to make sure you take good care of your teeth. The last thing you want is for plaque buildup to begin calcifying. Not only will this make your teeth look terrible, but it’ll also cause serious long-term damage to your teeth and gums. 

While the best way to remove dental plaque and tartar is to visit your dentist regularly, there are ways to prevent tartar and plaque-causing bacteria at home. If you want to learn how to remove plaque from teeth safely at home, keep reading.

Dental Plaque 101

Dental plaque is the sticky substance that comes from leftover food particles mixing with your saliva. While plaque is colorless, you’ll know it’s there when your teeth feel fuzzy or furry, in a manner of speaking. 

Plaque is actually created through a chemical process that specifically involves the carbohydrates we eat. The carbohydrates combine with our mouth’s natural bacteria creating an acid, which can eat away at tooth enamel. Over time, however, this chemical reaction creates a sticky residue that eventually hardens and turns yellow — which is when it officially becomes tarter.

What Happens If You Don’t Remove Dental Plaque?

illustration of dental plaque removal

If you neglect to remove dental plaque, it will harden and turn into tartar — which is officially referred to as dental calculus. While it may seem like a long process that involves eating copious amounts of sugary and starchy foods and poor oral hygiene, most dental plaque will begin to harden within 48 hours of its initial formation.

Once tartar forms, the bacteria will continue to multiply and mix with your food. From there it will:

How to Remove Plaque and Tartar at Home

Once plaque becomes tartar only a dental professional can remove it for you. In some instances, proper oral hygiene may be able to take care of the earlier formations of tartar buildup, if you’re lucky. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do at home to remove plaque buildup — and hopefully some tartar before your next visit to the dentist. Here are five things to do:

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene 🪥

It’s like they say: The best offense is a good defense. In the world of dentistry, this means preventative care. Forming good oral hygiene habits is the best way to keep your mouth free of plaque and tartar — and all the issues they come with.

Here’s what you want to focus on when it comes to taking care of your teeth and to prevent tartar buildup:

2. Make Dietary Changes 🥦

Assortment of unhealthy foods

Plaque and tartar love starchy and sugary foods because they’re high in carbohydrates — which is their source of food. It’s best that you limit sugary foods and excess carbs from your diet by avoiding the following:

You don’t have to give these foods and beverages up completely, but you will want to limit them as much as possible. If you do happen to indulge in the above, be sure to brush, floss, and rinse after.

3. Gargle With White Vinegar 🥤

Vinegar may seem extreme as it’s incredibly potent, but distilled white vinegar is naturally antibacterial and strong enough to help demineralize and soften tartar so it can be brushed away.

To make a white vinegar mouth rinse:

4. Make a Baking Soda Paste 🥣

baking soda in a bowl with toothpaste

Baking soda is excellent for removing plaque and some tartar as it’s both abrasive and works to neutralize the acid in your mouth. If you mix it with hydrogen peroxide, it can double as a tooth whitener.

To create a paste, use a 2:1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda or water and baking soda. Brush as usual or leave it on your teeth (avoiding your gums) for up to 15 minutes before rinsing. 

You can also add it to your toothpaste.

5. Try Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil 🥥

Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic oral practice that involves swishing around a fatty oil, such as coconut oil, around the mouth for up to 20 minutes. 

Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and is packed with antioxidants, so it can control the bacteria in the mouth. It also absorbs other toxins in the mouth, which can help to reduce inflammation and soothe sensitive gums.

All you have to do is swish around about one tablespoon of coconut oil for 10 to 20 minutes, ensuring that you force it through your teeth as you go for the best results. Remember to spit the oil out in your trash bin to avoid clogging your drain pipe and brush afterward!

Schedule Your Dental Cleaning

Dental plaque and tartar buildup aren’t something you want going on in your mouth. While proper oral hygiene is your best bet, you still want to visit your dentist for regular cleanings to ensure that all signs of tartar and plaque are removed. Book your next cleaning with the dental professionals at Wayzata Dental — we’ll make sure you remain tarter and plaque-free!


Hook Webmaster