We all know dental plaque is terrible news for your teeth because it causes tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, it’s something you can prevent. Just brush your teeth twice a day so you prevent oral bacteria from building up in the first place. Flossing before cleaning, in particular, helps remove plaque from those hard-to-reach places. When plaque stays on your teeth a little too long, it can harden into tartar, particularly below the gum line. And this form is difficult to remove on your own. What, then, are the ways to get rid of tartar buildup?
It’s essential to know how it happens in the first place. While we do know that tartar is hardened dental plaque, the whole process isn’t as simple as it seems. That bacterial biofilm mixes in with the minerals from your saliva to turn into tartar. When bonded, these minerals are what harden the plaque and make them cling to the tooth enamel. At this point, you need to get a dental cleaning at your nearest dental office to get rid of it.
When it’s a little too late to get rid of your dental plaque problem, what are the ways to get rid of tartar buildup? Here are a few things to consider:
Start fresh with a dental cleaning
Unfortunately, getting a professional dental cleaning is the only way to get rid of tartar buildup. Most at-home remedies on the internet—including baking soda and orange peel—focus on prevention rather than getting rid of the actual problem. Unless you’re licensed to do so, it’s always best to head to your nearest dental office.
Because tartar buildup is usually found near or underneath the gum line, your dentist might do a root scaling and planing procedure. Don’t let the treatment name scare you, though. Essentially, your dentist scrapes or “scales” off the tartar on the area. And if your tartar gives you exposed tooth roots, your dentist will plane or smooth them out to help them reattach to your gums.
Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste
After a dental cleaning, more ways to get rid of tartar buildup begin to open. At this point, the shift goes from how to fight tartar to preventing tartar from happening in the first place. And it starts when you brush your teeth. You want to make sure you stop tartar in its tracks before it forms, so while it’s still plaque, you want to prevent it from building up. Using a fluoride toothpaste is a bonus since fluoride prevents your tooth enamel from losing their mineral content.
Go extra with the oral health products
Sure, you don’t need a lot of oral health products to reduce tartar buildup, but it wouldn’t hurt to go ham on them every once in a while. Aside from adding to an already-solid oral hygiene routine, they also make the experience exponentially more pleasant. Whether that’s getting a water pick or using a therapeutic mouthwash, if you’re someone with a previous tartar problem, this can help a lot.
Watch the food you eat
They say prevention is the best cure, and it’s a principle that follows all the ways to get rid of tartar buildup. Building your tooth enamel defenses is a particularly crucial step. What you eat makes or breaks your tartar immunity, so make sure you stock up on healthy food for teeth. Or, at least, avoid the ones that aren’t, like acidic foods.