Plaque forms when the residuals of the food you eat build up on your inner and outer tooth surfaces. This dental problem can cause bad breath, but can also trigger the development of other conditions when that build-up hardens and calcifies on the teeth, causing bleeding and gum disease.
Although there’s no definitive solution to remove plaque and keep it from building up on your teeth, there are a number of things you can do at home to reduce its accumulation in your mouth and prevent its progression. Want to learn more? Keep reading.
The best thing that you can do to remove plaque is change the way you brush your teeth. Most people, when they brush, use a horizontal left to right motion, but what they might not know is that when you do that, it increases your tooth sensitivity and can even press plaque further in between the teeth.
Instead, brush your teeth vertically, from top to bottom, and always try using a cirucular motion. After you brush don’t forget to floss to remove any build-up in between the teeth. Once you’re finished, rinse with mouthwash and also rinse your brush well to remove any bits of food that might be caught in the bristles.
Note: be sure to change your toothbrush at least four times a year, and use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Change your diet
Eating a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your dental health. Try to avoid sugars and carbohydrates, and don’t drink soft drinks – or if you must, drink them with a straw so they don’t come into direct contact with your teeth. Don’t eat too many foods made with refined flours, and if you do, remember to brush your teeth afterward to avoid getting any bacterial infections.
How can you complement your oral hygiene?
Home remedies can sometimes be very effective when it comes to fighting tooth decay and problems like plaque, but it’s important not to overdo them so you don’t end up doing more harm to your teeth than good. Some of the home remedies that can help fight plaque and improve your overall dental health are:
Although it’s somewhat controversial, a recent study showed that chewing sugar-free gum reduced the formation of plaque on the teeth. Just chew a piece after each meal so that any residual foodstuffs are released, and then remove them completely by brushing your teeth.
When you brush your teeth, add a very small amount of baking soda to your toothpaste. Baking soda dissolves residual food from the surface of the tooth and can also significantly whiten them. You can do this once a week before bedtime, and remember to only use a small amount of this product.
Lemon juice is great for fighting plaque and tartar. The acidity of lemons is abrasive, helping to clean the mouth thoroughly. It also brightens teeth, eliminates bad breath, and can even whiten teeth. Just use it once a week to reduce plaque build-up gradually, and take care not to do this too often because it can have the opposite effect when used in excess.
While there are some methods for cleaning, whitening, and improving your overall dental health, the best thing you can do to maintain healthy teeth is to schedule a regular visit with your dentist every 6 months. There’s nothing better than a professional cleaning to completely remove this uncomfortable and harmful problem of plaque.