The sticky film that clings to your teeth is called plaque. Plaque that's left to harden becomes tartar. According to "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies," plaque can harden 50% within two days and become as hard as a rock after about 12 days. Once rock-hard tartar cements itself to your teeth, you will need a professional cleaning to remove it, but you can prevent, or minimise, tartar build-up with good oral care at home.
Choose a toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Look for one with soft, round bristles. "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies" reports that such a brush is gentle on tooth enamel yet effective at removing plaque.
Apply a small amount of tartar-control toothpaste on your toothbrush. Make certain that the toothpaste brand has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval, suggests Delta Dental Insurance.
Brush all sides of each tooth in a circular motion. Brush for at least 2 minutes, twice a day. Concentrate on the back and lower teeth, where tartar tends to accumulate most, "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies" recommends.
Floss your teeth after brushing. Use floss between and around each tooth to loosen and remove plaque and any food particles.
Rinse with an anti-plaque mouthwash.