Plaque is a clear or white-coloured film that rests on the surface of teeth and gums. Comprised of bacteria both naturally present in the mouth and also produced from eating, this substance can harden into tartar on your teeth. Tartar can only be removed in a dentist's office with special tools, but there are several natural ways to get rid of plaque so your teeth and mouth stay looking and smelling fresh.
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Things you need
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
Brush your teeth twice daily or after each meal and before going to bed. A toothbrush is designed to effectively loosen plaque from teeth, but only when done correctly. Brush only a few teeth at a time in a gentle circular motion to remove plaque. Pay attention to your back teeth as well as your front teeth and brush for at least two minutes.
Floss your teeth after brushing to remove any stubborn remaining plaque and plaque that is resting slightly beneath the gums where a brush can't reach. Floss your teeth in a gentle back-and-forth motion, curving around each tooth with the floss to remove plaque.
Brush your teeth with toothpaste that is recommended by the American Dental Association to ensure the quality of the ingredients you are using.
Use a baking soda scrub for extra plaque removal. Dip your slightly wet toothbrush into a box of baking soda or mix a little soda with water to form an effective paste.
Rinse out your mouth with water each time after you eat to wash away any food particles that have the potential to turn into plaque. A daily mouthwash rinse will also keep plaque from developing.
Avoid processed sugars because they contribute to plaque development. Substitute cheese at the end of meals instead of a sugary dessert. Certain enzymes in cheese fight plaque. Chewing on sugarless gum can also inhibit plaque growth.
Tips and warnings
- Never forgo brushing and rinsing. If you run out of toothpaste, at least brush with water. If you run our of mouthwash, rinse with warm water.
- Be gentle when brushing, flossing and especially if you use a Water Pik to remove plaque. Being overzealous with your dental care regimen can damage, or even burn, sensitive gum tissue.
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