Plaque is a sticky, soft film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth, dental fillings, gums, tongue, dentures and crowns.
multiple layers of plaque combine with minerals present in your saliva,
it hardens into a white, chalky calcified substance called tartar.
create a breeding ground for the oral bacteria that feed on sugars from
the food you eat. Plus, it forms acid during this process that breaks
down the tooth enamel, leading to dental cavities. Bacteria also produce
toxins causing various periodontal (gum) problems.
factors contribute to plaque buildup, such as improper oral hygiene, bad
brushing technique, poor food choices, heredity and lack of
Maintaining dental hygiene is key to preventing plaque and tartar buildup. You should:
your teeth with a good toothpaste at least two times a day. Use a soft,
nylon brush with rounded, polished bristles. Hold the brush at a
45-degree angle against your gum line.
- Make sure you brush your tongue as well because it supports growth of bacteria leading to plaque buildup.
- Use dental floss regularly to clean your teeth and gums.
addition to regular dental hygiene, you can use some natural remedies
to remove plaque and tartar. Remember, once the tartar has mineralized
on your teeth, it is extremely difficult to remove. However, if you
regularly remove plaque, it can help prevent permanent tooth decay.
Here are the top 10 ways to naturally remove plaque and tartar:
1. Oil Pulling
pulling is an age-old practice that supports oral health and helps
remove plaque from teeth. Extra-virgin coconut oil is great for oil
pulling because it is high in lauric acid that has anti-inflammatory and
A 2015 study published in the Nigerian
Medical Journal suggests that oil pulling with coconut oil is effective
at reducing plaque formation.
- Swish 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Spit it out. Do not gargle with it or swallow it.
- Brush your teeth as usual.
- Repeat daily, in the morning before eating anything.
Plus, you can massage a few drops of coconut oil on your gums daily. You can also do oil pulling with warm sesame oil.
2. Baking Soda
soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is a great home remedy for
removing plaque. It neutralizes acids in the mouth, thereby reducing the
amount of harmful bacteria. It also helps whiten and brighten your
A 2008 study published in The Journal of Clinical
Dentistry analyzed five clinical studies and concluded that baking soda
paste or powder can more efficiently remove plaque than non-baking soda
- Put a small amount of baking soda on the bristles
of your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth with it. Rinse your mouth
and teeth thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Alternatively, mix 1
teaspoon of salt with 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Dip a dampened
toothbrush in the mixture. Brush your teeth with this powder gently.
option is to mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with enough hydrogen
peroxide to make a paste. Use it to brush your teeth and gums, spit it
out and rinse your mouth thoroughly.
Use any of these remedies once or twice a week.
Note: Do not use baking soda in excess as it may damage the tooth enamel over time.
guava fruit and leaves are considered excellent antiplaque agents to
help remove plaque accumulated on the teeth and gums. Plus, they have
anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that help reduce swelling and
pain in the gums.
A 2014 study published in the International
Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences showed that guava
leaf extract causes a reduction in the adhesion of early plaque. It has
excellent antibacterial and biofilm-inhibition activity against
Streptococcus mutans that cause dental plaque.
- Wash some
tender guava leaves and chew them thoroughly, then spit them out. Do
this daily to reduce the risk of plaque formation on the teeth.
- Take a piece of unripe guava, sprinkle salt on it and chew it slowly. Do this 1 to 2 times daily for a few days.
- You can also use a mouth rinse containing guava leaf extract.
4. Aloe Vera
vera is effective at dealing with gum disease caused by plaque and
tartar. Being an antimicrobial, it kills the bacteria that cause plaque
buildup. Plus, it fights bad breath.
A 2014 study published in the
Journal of Oral Health and Dental Management found that aloe vera
demonstrates a similar effect on plaque and gingivitis compared with the
benchmark control chlorhexidine mouthwash.
- Slit an aloe vera leaf and extract the pulp.
- Rub the pulp directly on your teeth and gum line.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
- Use this remedy twice daily.
cloves have been widely used for ages as a home remedy to relieve
toothaches. It can also be used to fight microbes in your mouth that may
cause plaque and tartar.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of
Indian Society of Periodontology notes that an herbal mouth rinse
containing clove, tea tree oil and basil reduced the microbial colony
forming units, making it an effective antiplaque and antigingivitis
- Mix 1 teaspoon of powdered cloves and a little olive
oil. Apply this mixture on your teeth. Wait a few minutes, then rinse it
off with lukewarm water. Do this twice a day.
- Also, chew 1 or 2 cloves on a regular basis to support oral health and reduce bad breath caused by the bacteria in your mouth.
6. White Vinegar
vinegar contains acetic acid that can help prevent demineralization of
enamel as well as prevent and reduce accumulation of plaque. It also has
A 2014 study published in the
International Journal of Advanced Health Sciences suggests that a
significant amount of dissolution of plaque dextran was observed in
vinegar (4 percent acetic acid) as compared to distilled water and
- Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt in ½ cup of warm water.
- Rinse your mouth with this mixture once or twice a day.
7. Orange Peels
Orange peels are often used as a natural whitener to remove stains from your teeth.
the limonene in orange peels helps break down plaque without eroding
your enamel, while the vitamin C in them helps prevent growth of
microorganisms on your teeth.
- Rub the inside portion of fresh orange peels directly on your teeth and gums before going to bed.
- Leave it overnight and rinse it off the next morning.
- Repeat as needed to keep your teeth clean and white.
If you don’t have fresh orange peels, you can use dried orange peel powder.
8. Rosemary Essential Oil
essential oil works like a disinfectant to eradicate oral bacteria. It
can prevent plaque buildup, cavities and help get rid of bad breath.
2012 study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology suggests
that the plant extracts from rosemary inhibited the growth of oral
bacteria, glucosyltransferase activity, glucan production and plaque
- Mix 2 or 3 drops of rosemary essential oil in 1 tablespoon of water or carrier oil.
- Swish the mixture through your teeth for about 10 minutes.
- Spit it out and brush your teeth as usual. Do not swallow or gargle with it.
- Repeat twice daily.
If you don’t have rosemary essential oil, you can use sage or thyme essential oil.
9. Black Tea
with black tea can control oral bacteria and help reduce the risk of
plaque formation, thanks to its antioxidant and antimicrobial
properties. Plus, it is a rich source of fluoride.
helps prevent tooth decay as it encourages better quality tooth enamel
and reduces the ability of the oral bacteria to produce acid which
causes tooth decay.
A 2011 study published in The Journal of
Dentistry of Tehran University of Medical Sciences suggests that
fluoride-rich Iranian green tea and black tea have antibacterial
(Streptococcus mutans) qualities.
- Steep a black tea bag in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes.
- Squeeze the tea bag into the water to release the maximum amount of fluoride, then remove it.
- Allow the tea to cool, then use it to rinse your mouth.
- Repeat once daily to prevent plaque buildup.
helps in the production of alkaline saliva that helps neutralize plaque
acid. It helps create a protective layer around your teeth that keeps
plaque bacteria’s acid at bay. Plus, it contains calcium and phosphates
that help remineralize your teeth.
A 2012 study published in The
Journal of European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry notes that cheese
without any added sugar (sucrose) may prevent dental caries by
increasing calcium and phosphorus concentration in dental plaque
Eat a small amount of hard cheese after your meals to prevent plaque formation.
spicy foods to stimulate your salivary glands. Saliva helps clean your
teeth and gums, thus fighting gum disease and dental decay.
- Chew a raw apple an hour after eating food. It will clean your teeth and help heal the gums.
- Eating figs can also strengthen your teeth and stimulate saliva flow. Make sure you chew them thoroughly.
- Limit your consumption of processed foods that contain sugar and starch. Oral bacteria thrive on sugary foods.
- Use margosa twigs as a toothbrush to brush your teeth.
- Get your teeth and gums professionally cleaned at least once a year.