A lot happens when you show your teeth. Along with a smile which gets better with beautiful teeth, you also reveal facts about your oral hygiene.
Plaque, for the uninitiated, is formed due to the presence of leftover food particles and saliva that combine in the mouth. This sticky substance is usually formed due to inadequate brushing after meals or improper flossing that causes it to form and accumulate on the teeth.
So, why does plaque pose a problem? Plaque contains bacteria, can accelerate gum disease and tooth decay. It can eat away the enamel. When dental plaque remains on the teeth for many days, it becomes hard and leads to the formation of tartar. This can discolour the teeth and also cause bad breath.
Ways to reduce plaque formation naturally
By far, the best way to keep plaque at bay is by regular brushing and flossing at least twice a day. This also helps keep the gums, teeth and breath healthy.
Let us understand the chemical reactions behind the formation of plaque, so we can use this information to help reduce them.
Plaque usually sticks to the teeth and if not removed can damage the gums and teeth. It is possible to protect your teeth against the formation of plaque in two ways.
- Reduce your consumption of carbohydrates at least the ones you can avoid like cookies and candies which can cause plaque to accumulate. For the carbohydrates, you cannot possibly avoid, like cereal, corn, potatoes and bread, the way to reduce plaque formation is by brushing and flossing twice a day.
- It is also important to use the brush in an upward and downward motion all along the upper and lower jaw to thoroughly remove food particles. This needs to be followed by flossing which controls the formation of plaque.
- Brushing and flossing needs to be done within 48 hours of food consumption for it to be effective, as it can harden to become tartar. If plaque is not removed, its buildup can damage teeth and lead to teeth loss.
- A toothpaste containing fluoride is highly recommended by dentists to protect against the build –up of plaque. Keep your teeth free from bacteria by brushing and flossing everyday.
- Consume fruits and vegetables that will keep your teeth healthy. Apples, carrots and cucumbers are particularly healthy for the teeth.
- Do not consume processed foods as it can encourage plaque formation.
- Consumption of cranberry juice is very healthy and offers 50% protection against the formation of plaque
- Green tea does wonders in preventing plaque formation.
- Avoid foods high in sugar as it can increase the formation of plaque. Sweet foods can abet plaque build-up and help bacteria thrive and multiply.
- Ensure you visit your dentist for an annual appraisal of your dental health.
There are a few home remedies that people use to get rid of tartar and plaque. Some of the commonly used remedies are outlined below.
- Apples and Melons: Apple and melons consumed at least one hour after the meal protects your teeth against build up of plaque.
- Orange Peels: Use a rind of an orange and run it on your teeth before going to bed. Leave it for the whole night and rinse your mouth the next day for plaque free teeth.
- Baking Soda: This is an effective ingredient to remove plaque. Make a mouthwash with half a cup of baking soda, a glass of water, a wee bit of essential lemon oil, vegetable glycerin and aloe vera gel. Use it regularly to reduce plaque formation.
- Spicy Food: Did you know that spicy food is a good way to keep the mouth clean? Spicy food causes stimulation of the salivary glands and when saliva is secreted sufficiently it cleans the teeth and gums in a natural way.
- You could also use a dental pick to gradually remove the tartar but this needs to be done with caution as rough cleaning of the teeth could cause bleeding gums and infection.
- Gargle using an oral cleanser which can cause the tartar and plaque to loosen up. Nothing to beat the measures of brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing to get rid of plaque.
It is crucial to care for your teeth in the initial stage itself to reduce your chances of tooth decay and developing gum diseases. Good oral hygiene is a must to offset plaque and tartar accumulation on your teeth. Do not forget to visit your dentist once a year to review oral health and help remove plaque and tartar and enjoy your beautiful set of pearly whites.