If you don't look after your teeth, plaque will form on the surface. Plaque is a mixture of mineral salts deposited by saliva, food particles and bacteria. This mix initially feels glue-like. If you ignore it for a couple of days, it starts to harden on your teeth. Neglect the plaque still further and 10 or so days later it turns into tartar, which is hard to remove. You may also find that you begin to suffer from tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. It's important to get rid of plaque without delay.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing removes plaque, but you need to do it correctly. Use a small brush with soft nylon bristles. The American Dental Association also recommends a fluoride toothpaste. Grip the brush as though you are holding a pen. Place the bristles against your teeth at a 45-degree angle. Rub your teeth with the bristles in a circular motion. Be thorough and continue the process for at least two minutes. You can use an electric toothbrush instead if you wish. The benefit of an electric toothbrush is that it vibrates the bristles of the brush against your teeth at a high speed. These vibrations help remove the plaque.
Use baking soda once a week rather than fluoride toothpaste. Put 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Add a little salt. Stir the water. Clean your teeth, dipping the toothbrush regularly into the water. Alternatively, use dry baking soda. Apply it to your toothbrush and clean your teeth. Baking soda is a proven way of removing the bacteria and salts that create plaque.
Floss your teeth every day. Plaque doesn't just form on the front and back surfaces of teeth; it builds up in the gaps. When you floss, take a gentle but thorough approach. Don't damage your gums. Wind a short length of floss around a finger on each hand. Work the floss carefully between your teeth. Use an up and down motion rather than a sawing motion.
Rinse your mouth daily with a mouthwash. Mouthwash helps flush away the saliva salts that cause plaque. It also kills the bacteria on teeth. Use a proprietary mouthwash or make one of your own. Stir 1 tsp of aloe vera, 4 tsps. of glycerine and 1/2 cup of baking soda into a glass of water. Add a few drops of lemon oil. An alternative homemade mouthwash is a 3 per cent solution of hydrogen peroxide in water.
Cut back on foods that are major causes of plaque. Such foods are those that are high in sugar or starch. Sugar appears in many processed foods. Starch is in cereals and potatoes. It is impractical to remove sugar and starch completely from most diets, so brush your mouth after every meal. If you cannot do this, make sure you finish your meal by drinking some water. The water helps remove food particles that can stick to teeth and encourage plaque.