Tartar is rock-like mineralized dental plaque. Dentists call it calculus. Tartar accumulates on your teeth naturally and unavoidably, which is why most people get their teeth professionally cleaned. Tartar removal requires special tools. Brushing and flossing help, but they cannot remove tartar. However, it is not necessary to wait for your next dentist’s appointment, you can remove tartar at home yourself.
How To Remove Tartar Buildup Yourself
- A good first step is to evaluate how bad the problem is. Plaque disclosing tablets are a great tool to find out where and how much plaque you have. The best way to stop tartar is to prevent it before it forms. The tablets will show you where you need to brush your teeth and floss better.
- We all know that it’s necessary to brush your teeth two or three times a day and brush every morning to stay on top of plaque. Real old-school dental floss is better than electric water flossers. To stay ahead of the game, rinse your mouth after brushing with this mouthwash. You might knock a bit of tartar off through your regular oral hygiene regimen, but not much.
- To remove tartar at home you will need a tartar removal tool for home use. These kits are designed for DIY tartar removal. The steel with which they are constructed is softer than that used by dentists. It’s best to have a small standing makeup mirror on hand so you can see what you’re doing. If you are not very dexterous or if you are suffering from gum disease, this probably isn’t for you. A week of daily flossing will usually return your gums to regular health.
Finally, chew up another plaque disclosing tablet to see how well you’ve done. The method outlined above is a cheap and effective way to remove tartar at home, but keep in mind that you
still must visit your dentist twice a year or so. They have better tools, skills and restorative fluoride treatment.
If all else fails, consider investing in this electric tartar removal tool from Uniharpa.
Why tartar buildup is bad (and a health hazard)
Tartar buildup on your tooth is yellowish in color. Whether you’re on a date or at a job interview, this is not a good look. Remember that maintaining a rigorous daily dental hygiene regimen is more effective and cheaper than waiting to fix major problems like tartar buildup when they arise.
Tartar buildup turns into a vicious cycle. The more tartar you have on your teeth, the more plaque adheres to it and hardens into more tartar. The more plaque, the more tartar. The more
tartar, the more gingivitis. This causes bad breath, cysts under your gums, and can eventually degrade the bones that hold your teeth in place. Prevention is the best medicine.
Two fun facts:
- Gingivitis, or gum disease, is the number one cause of the need for tooth removal amongadults.
- Dental plaque and tartar buildup are the leading causes of Gingivitis.
Conclusion: tartar buildup can cause you a major headache if not prevented or addressed early. Tartar starts with plaque, and prevention starts with you, your toothbrush and floss.
Removing tartar from the back of your teeth (without a dentist visit)
Removing tartar from the back of your teeth yourself is quite the feat of oral gymnastics. It is very hard to see what you’re doing while attempting this. Fortunately, the tartar removal kit noted above comes with an oral mirror. You should be able to use it to see if you are effectively removing plaque from the worst buildup zones.
Flossing daily is absolutely essential to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. We recommend doing it just before brushing each time. Flossing removes the plaque from between your teeth and
prevents it from developing into tartar.
Pull a piece of dental floss, wrap it around your middle fingers and hold it between your thumb and index fingers. Pull the floss taut and gently and guide it between your teeth then move it
back and forth in a zig-zag motion. Be sure to push the floss below the gumline on each tooth to remove as much plaque as possible. Pull the floss out from between your teeth and wind it
through your fingers so you have a clean section ready to use on the next tooth. Tear off a length of floss about as long as your forearm. Wrap the ends around your middle fingers and hold it between your thumb and index fingers with each hand. Pull it tight and gently work the floss between each pair of teeth. Try to carefully scrape the contact edge of both teeth. Floss gently as far toward the gum as you can without causing pain or snapping the floss against your gums. Gently remove the floss from the crack, roll it along your fingers to get to a clean section and try
Avoid these tartar removal “tricks”
We strongly advise you against trying these DIY tartar removal methods:
- Using Orange peels. Some alternative remedy sites recommend rubbing orange people on your teeth for a couple of minutes or so, waiting another couple of minutes before rinsing. Alternatively, you could mash the orange peels up and use the mash as a kind of toothpaste. Orange peel contains vitamin C, which is meant to fight the bacteria coating your teeth. It is these bacteria which eventually form plaque and tartar. Orange peel also contains limonene, which is supposed to dissolve any tartar. However, there is no scientific research showing that this method is effective. In fact the sugars and acidity in the peel could actually break down your tooth enamel.
- Brushing your teeth with baking soda or activated charcoal
Around the internet you can find sites suggesting that you coat a wet toothbrush in baking soda and brush your teeth gently before rinsing. Some suggest including some salt in the mixture. A more recent fad is to run the same procedure, but with activated charcoal instead of baking soda. Both methods may remove some of your tartar, but research indicates that they can also seriously damage your tooth enamel. That is, you may permanently weaken the structure of your teeth.
- Tartar Removal with Aloe Vera
Squeeze out the pulp from the Aloe Vera plant and rub it on your teeth for a couple of minutes before rinsing. Repeat twice a day. Aloe Vera has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which fight the bacteria that cause tartar. Aloe also contains antioxidants which can neutralize free radicals which damage cells. Although there is some scientific evidence backing this up, Aloe Vera is unlikely to remove tartar.
The best way to remove tartar: Visit a dentist or mouth hygienist
The home remedies suggested here are not meant as a replacement for regular visits to your dentist. If you think something is wrong with your oral health, the best thing to do is consult your dentist as quickly as possible. Not all of us have the extra cash available for professional medical care on a regular basis: for those patients home treatments like this offer a an affordable solution, so you can visit your dentist a little less frequently. Others suffer serious anxiety over visiting the dentist, and for those, removing tartar buildup yourself is better than nothing at all. However, you still need to visit your dentist at least once a year. And if your problem seems serious, or if the methods we suggest don’t work, do your best to seek professional help.