What is tartar?
Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is the buildup of plaque and minerals from your saliva that calcify (harden) on teeth. Tartar accumulates on the backs and fronts of teeth and between teeth. It is porous, so food and drinks can easily stain it, thus making your teeth unattractive.
Moreover, it can invade below your gum line, coat your teeth exterior, and wreak havoc on your dental health.
Signs of tartar buildup and how it impacts your oral health
You’ll most likely notice the signs of tartar buildup by how your teeth feel. Tartar makes your teeth feel rough to the touch and cannot be dealt with by brushing alone. When tartar appears above the gum line, it may be brown, tan, or yellow and often grows to cover larger areas of the teeth when not removed.
When tartar builds up below the gum line, it may be black or brown and may lead to periodontal disease, bone loss, receding gums, and tooth loss. Other signs include chronic bad breath, gum disease, cavities, gingivitis, tooth sensitivity, and bleeding and irritated gums.
When left unaddressed, tartar can also lead to other health issues. For example, according to the Department of Health and Human Services report, gum disease caused by tartar accumulation increases the risk for stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
How to remove tartar without a dentist
Tartar and plaque, are both detrimental to your dental health, so it’s essential to keep them at bay. While visiting a dentist is the best way to eliminate tartar, you can also remove it at home without a dentist. Here are some of the ways to remove tartar without a dentist.
Brush your teeth twice a day
We recommend brushing your teeth twice daily – once in the morning and before bed. While this may not be enough to remove tartar, it’s very effective in maintaining oral hygiene and preventing tartar formation on your teeth. Also, consider using an electric toothbrush as it can clean your teeth more efficiently and may help loosen and remove tartar.
Use tartar removal toothpaste
Consider using a tartar-control toothpaste for the effective elimination of tooth calculus. This toothpaste contains fluoride and pyrophosphates that kill plaque-causing bacteria and prevent calcium phosphate deposits in the form of tartar.
Your toothbrush cannot reach all your gum and tooth surfaces. So, it’s important to floss regularly to remove plaque and any lodged food particles from the inaccessible parts of your teeth. Remember, keeping your teeth clean and germ-free can go a long way to prevent tartar buildup on your teeth.
Use natural or homemade remedies to remove tarter
The acetic acid in white vinegar has antibacterial properties and promotes demineralization of tooth enamel, making it effective in removing tartar and plaque. Add half a teaspoon of salt to half a cup of water and add two teaspoons of white vinegar to it. Stir it well and gargle the mixture twice a day.
Glycerine and aloe vera
Wet your toothbrush, put baking soda on its bristles, and use it to brush your teeth. Allow it to rest for 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing your mouth.
Brushing your teeth daily with baking soda will help remove tartar and whiten your teeth. However, avoid using it in excess as it can harm your tooth enamel.
Use the inside part of the orange peel to scrub your teeth for about two minutes. You can also mash the peel to make a paste and apply it to your teeth and gums with your toothbrush. Repeat the process thrice or twice a week.
Guava fruit and leaves
Guava fruit and leaves can help reduce gum swelling and remove tartar and plaque naturally. Chew some guava leaves and spit them out. Alternatively, sprinkle salt over an unripe guava fruit and chew it twice or once a day.
These are active dental scrubs. Just chew a handful but do not swallow them. While the seeds are still in your mouth, scrub off tartar with a dry toothbrush.
Eating spicy foods
Consider chewing some peppers to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. That’s because spicy foods improve saliva production in your mouth, which helps clean the gums and teeth.
Use vitamin C rich foods
Tomatoes and strawberries are rich in vitamin C and have antimicrobial properties that help to prevent tartar and plaque buildup. Mash strawberries and tomatoes to form a paste and apply it to your teeth. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before washing it off. Repeat twice a week till you notice the difference.
Prevent it before it starts
Like many health issues, the solution often lies in prevention! While an excellent oral hygiene routine may not be enough to remove tartar from your teeth, it can prevent its formation by removing plaque.
Brush and floss regularly. Use fluoride or ADA-approved antimicrobial mouthwash, drink plenty of water, eat fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid sugary foods. You should also avoid tobacco use and reduce stress, as these can also contribute to tartar buildup on your teeth.
Last, visit a dentist at least every six months for professional checkups and cleanings even if you follow an excellent oral hygiene routine. Your dentist will help to remove any plaque you missed, detect early signs of gum disease, and ensure your gums and teeth are healthy.
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