Plaque is a term that is used to refer the sticky stuff that coats your teeth, creating a film-like covering. It is important to note that plaque also affects dentures, dental fillings as well as the tongue and gum. Plaque in itself, is easy to get rid of. The challenge posed by plaque is that over time, it mixes with mineral salts present in the saliva and hardens. Upon hardening, the soft sticky layer morphs to a distinct white substance that is referred to as tartar.
Plaque is not good for the teeth because it provides a perfect environment for the proliferation of bacteria that then feed on the food remains present in the mouth. Additionally, plaque contributes to the production of acids in the mouth. These acids not only wear out the tooth enamel, they also predispose you to the development of gum diseases.
In addition to poor dental hygiene, other factors that contribute to the formation of plaque include poor brushing techniques, hereditary predisposition and overall extremely sugary and/or starchy foods. Listed below are some of the home remedies that you can use to manage plaque. Most of the remedies are simple to follow through, and all you need to do is to choose one that suits you.
1. Baking Soda:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, a wet (but clean) toothbrush, and warm water.
Baking soda is a simple but effective home remedy that you can use to get rid of plaque. The soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, works by counteracting the presence of acids in the mouth through neutralization. This, in effect, reduces the population of bacteria in the mouth, and allows your teeth to retain their white color. It is important, however to ensure that you do not overuse this remedy as the baking soda has the capacity to damage the enamel of the teeth. Salt is added to the remedy as it helps disinfect the mouth and enhances great oral hygiene.
- Wet your toothbrush to make it easy to apply this remedy as the wetness causes the remedy to adhere to the toothbrush bristles.
- Mix the sea salt with the baking soda well. In the absence of the salt, you may use the baking soda on its own.
- Dip the wet toothbrush in the baking soda mixture and then brush your teeth using the remedy.
- Brush gently for about 5 minutes. Do not be aggressive as this can easily cause gum injury.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water after 10 minutes. To avoid damaging the tooth enamel, use this remedy once a week.
2. Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh aloe vera leaf, sharp knife, and cold water to rinse.
Aloe vera is a plant whose diverse healing properties has made it a favorite for many people. It therefore comes as no surprise that gel squeezed from the freshly cut leaf may be used to treat plaque. The antimicrobial properties present in the gel kill the bacteria, thus getting rid of plaque. Unlike commercial mouthwash that is intended to have the same effect, aloe vera gel is both gentle and effective, making it a perfect choice for a home remedy. Follow the directions below to treat plaque using aloe vera.
- Slice the fresh aloe vera leaf at an angle to reveal the succulent part of the leaf.
- Squeeze the edges of the leaf to collect the gel.
- Clean your hands and proceed to rub some of the gel on the teeth and gums.
- Alternatively, simply rub the cut edges of the leaf (once you have cleaned it well) on the teeth, taking care to avoid pricking the gums.
- Do this for about 10 minutes and proceed to rinse your mouth with cold water. For the best results, use aloe vera gel twice daily, preferably in the morning and at bedtime.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Sesame oil may be used in place of coconut oil.
Oil-pulling is an ancient technique that has long been used to promote excellent oral health. The use of this remedy is simple: your preferred oil and some 20 minutes to spare. Coconut oil is recommended for oil pulling because it is a potent antimicrobial. When swished in the mouth, it effectively kills the bacteria and eliminates all the toxins present in the mouth. In doing so, the oil eliminates the formation of plaque. Sesame oil is an excellent option too, thanks to its healing properties.
- Place 1 tablespoon of coconut/sesame oil in your mouth.
- Swish and swirl the oil in your mouth, taking care not to swallow the mixture as it is laden with bacteria. You must also ensure that you do not gargle after using the oil.
- Spit the oil mixture and proceed to brush your teeth as you normally would using toothpaste.
- Use this remedy twice daily to get rid of plaque, especially in the morning before you eat any food.
4. Guava Fruit and/or Leaves:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Young guava leaves or an unripe guava, and a pinch of salt.
The guava fruit alongside the leaves from the tree are regarded as effective antiplaque home remedies as they are known to get rid of plaque in the simplest of ways. The abrasion from the contact of the teeth with the fiber of the guava leaves ensures that the sticky film that characterizes plaque does not get attached to the teeth. The unripe guava fruit has excellent antibacterial properties that help reduce the bacterial population in the mouth, thus reducing the chances of getting plaque. Salt is added to the unripe fruit because it contributes to the elimination of bacteria as well as gives the fruit a distinct taste and texture.
- If you opt to use the leaves, ensure that you go for the young tender leaves as these are easier to chew and are gentle on the tongue.
- Clean the leaves well and proceed to chew on them.
- Swirl the resulting paste in your mouth and chew completely until all you have remaining is a pulp.
- Spit the pulp and remember to use this remedy daily to eliminate plaque as well as prevent the formation of tartar.
- When using the guava fruit, clean it well and slice it before sprinkling a pinch of salt. Munch on the fruit at least twice daily to reduce the formation of plaque.
5. Fresh Orange Peels:
Time Required: 10 Min preparation, overnight application.
What You Need: Fresh orange peels and warm water to rinse. Alternatively, use dried orange peel powder in place of the peels.
Fresh orange peels have long been used as a natural teeth whitener, and are effective in the removal of teeth stains. For this reason, the peels are also an ideal way to treat plaque naturally. One of the most effective ingredients found in the peels is known as limonene.
Limonene helps degrade plaque while maintaining the integrity of the tooth enamel. This is very important as strong enamel is integral to proper dental hygiene. Orange peels are also rich in Vitamin C which goes a long way in preventing the proliferation of bacteria on the teeth and in the oral cavity.
- Simply ensure that the orange peels are clean before rubbing the fleshy part on your teeth and gums.
- The best time to do this is a few minutes before bedtime so that you leave the remedy overnight.
- The next day, before eating anything, make sure that you take a glass of warm water to rinse your mouth.
- You may use this remedy as often as you need to.
- If you do not have the orange peels, or prefer to use the dried powder, all you need to do is create a paste that you can apply on your teeth. Simply add a few drops of warm water to the powder to get the paste and apply it before bedtime. Rinse your mouth the next morning using warm water.
6. Black Tea:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Black teabag and a cup of hot water.
Black tea is hailed the world over for its excellent antioxidant and antimirobial properties, two of the most important traits when treating plaque naturally. The antioxidants present in the tea help get rid of the toxins while the antimicrobial properties reduce the bacterial population. In addition to these properties, black tea is also rich in fluoride which ensures that your teeth remain white and strong. Different studies have gone on to prove that Iranian tea in specific is a great anti-plaque remedy.
- Steep the black teabag in the cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes.
- Drink this tea daily, preferably early morning.
- Alternatively, chill the used teabag and then rub it on your teeth and gums to get rid of plaque.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon of cloves (ground), few drops of olive oil, and warm water. Raw cloves (optional).
Cloves are a popular home remedy for the treatment of toothaches, but did you know that cloves are also ideal for the elimination of plaque? This is attributed to the presence of antibacterial properties that reduce the bacterial load present in the mouth. Olive oil is added to create a medium for the mixing and application of the ground cloves. Warm water is required for rinsing purposes. You may also add raw cloves to your daily diet as a preventive measure taken to keep plaque at bay.
- Mix the ground cloves with a few drops of the olive oil so that you have a consistent paste.
- Apply the paste on your teeth and rub gently so that the gums are also covered in a layer of the mixture.
- Wait for about 5 minutes and then rinse your mouth using warm water.
- Apply the paste twice daily for best results.
8. Use Proper Brushing Techniques:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Toothpaste (preferably tartar-control), toothbrush with soft sturdy bristles, and warm water to rinse.
One of the simplest yet most profound ways of getting rid of plaque is through using the correct tooth brushing techniques. In addition to these techniques (as listed in the directions below), you also need to consider the number of times and occurrences when you brush your teeth. As a general guide, you are advised to brush your teeth after every meal. While this may not be practical on every occasion, you must ensure that you brush your teeth at least twice daily.
Most people find that brushing in the morning and at bedtime works just fine because it gets rid of the characteristic morning odor while eliminating food debris accumulated during the day. Use a soft-bristled tooth brush to avoid injuring the teeth and gums.
- Place a dollop of toothpaste on your toothbrush and proceed to brush the outer surface of all the teeth on the upper jaw.
- Once done, repeat the same procedure, only this time you will be focusing on the inner surface of the teeth.
- Follow this up by brushing both the inner and outer surface of teeth on the lower jaw.
- Lastly, brush your tongue in gentle motions. Some toothbrushes are designed with a rough surface for this purpose.
- Finish off by rinsing your mouth.
It may take some time for this habit to stick, but it certainly is your best bet against plaque.
Other tips that you may use alongside any of the aforementioned home remedies include:
- Flossing regularly helps reduce the chances of getting plaque.
- Drink adequate amounts of water during the day to wash away any food debris present, especially after meals.
- Increase the amount of Vitamin C in your diet as this helps improve your oral health.
- Stop smoking as this allows for the accumulation and hardening of plaque, giving way to tartar which is far more difficult to get rid of.
- Lastly, avoid starchy foods as they encourage bacterial proliferation in the mouth, thus making it easy to develop plaque.