Natural remedies to prevent tartar
Tartar is a hardened accumulation of bacterial plaque on the teeth and can only be removed at the dentist by scaling. But we can prevent it, with the help of rigorous daily dental hygiene, by reducing the consumption of food that stains the teeth and resorting to various natural remedies at hand.
We all want white, shiny teeth and we are automatically attracted to people with impeccable teeth. But a smile of 10 also means ensuring the health of teeth, gums and more: tartar decreases the efficiency of brushing (which can lead to cavities) and can cause gum infections (gingivitis or periodontitis – which can lead to tooth loss and is associated with serious diseases, from inflammation and respiratory diseases, to increased risk of stroke and heart attack).
That is why it is important to understand how dental tartar appears, how it can be prevented and treated, what is the difference between bacterial plaque and tartar (many people mistakenly think they are the same thing) and why daily oral hygiene and 2 visits/ year to the dentist are so important.
What is bacterial plaque?
Even if you take great care of your teeth, your mouth is daily full of bacteria. Bacterial plaque is the sticky, soft and colorless film that gathers over each day on the teeth, above and under the gums, over the fillings. It contains millions of bacteria, which come bundled with the food consumed and is formed 3-12 hours after the last brushing. With it, the pH in the oral cavity changes and if you stick your tongue over your teeth you will feel its presence. These bacteria produce acid every time you eat something that contains sugar, eroding tooth enamel and leading to the appearance of caries over time.
How do you get rid of the bacterial plaque?
To remove daily accumulations from the dental surface, the solution is simple: use at least 2 times/day of dental floss, followed by brushing and rinsing with mouthwash. For even greater efficiency, a oral shower/ irrigator can also be used, which washes all the spaces between the teeth with pressure water, completely removing the bacterial plaque.
What is tartar?
If you don't take care of your teeth and constantly remove the bacterial plaque accumulated on their surface, the invisible film turns quite quickly into tartar: solidified deposits, yellow-brown, which can no longer be removed manually, requiring a trip to the dentist. It has serious consequences, if not removed periodically, therefore a visit to the dentist is necessarily required, every 6 months!
Tartar is formed above and below the gum line (so it is of 2 types – supra-gingival and sub-gingival), on the teeth, is a build-up of mineralized bacterial plaque (from calcium, magnesium, sodium and zinc salts from saliva), porous and hard. Most often, tartar appears on the inner surface of the lower teeth, on the outside of the upper molars, on decks, prostheses, orthodontic apparatus, but also between the cramped or shackled teeth, difficult to clean at the usual brushing.
The appearance of tartar is certain, in the absence of proper daily dental hygiene, but the pace at which it is formed depends on various factors:
- food consumed (many sweets and drinks that stain your teeth – coffee, tea, carbonated juices);
- how food is chewed;
- the position of the teeth (the cramped ones favor the faster formation of dental tartar);
- viscosity of saliva;
How does tartar affect teeth and gums?
- teeth will fade, stain and become sensitive;
- breathing becomes smelly (halene/ halitosis);
- brushing and flossing will make it harder, so the teeth will not be cleaned properly (which causes caries and gum problems over time);
- bacteria in this mineralized deposit affect and irritate the gums (producing gingivitis), press them and cause them to bleed, withdraw and destabilize the dental root (leading, if not removed, to periodontitis, which includes tooth loss).
How do you treat dental tartar?
Tartar once formed on the teeth cannot be removed by natural remedies or by brushing. The solution is scaling at the dentist – which can be performed manually, ultrasonically or by air-flow. Removal of dental tartar can often successfully replace tooth whitening, as the teeth automatically become whiter, once the yellow-brown accumulation disappears from them.
9 natural ways to prevent tartar
Because, once formed, tartar is removed only after a visit to the dentist, its prevention is the best solution. To do this, you can use the following natural ingredients:
- Sodium bicarbonate • is a safe and effective ingredient, speaking of removing bacterial plaque, protects against demineralization, has antimicrobial properties, protects tooth enamel (because it has a high pH, which balances the one in the oral cavity) and can whiten teeth. Sodium bicarbonate can be turned into a homemade toothpaste, mixing 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate with a little salt and toothpaste (or water), then brushing your teeth routinely. The procedure is repeated 1-2 times/week. Another natural remedy consists of sodium bicarbonate and Aloe vera: 1 teaspoon Aloe vera gel + 4 teaspoons of glycerin + 5 teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate + a few drops of lemon essential oil + 1 cup of water. Mix all the ingredients well, store the paste in a bowl and brush your teeth with it 2 times/week. Sodium bicarbonate can also be combined with oxygenated water: make a paste of 10 g bicarbonate and 5 ml of oxygenated water, then brush your teeth with it 2 times/week.
- Coconut oil can also help you get rid of bacteria and prevent tartar, as it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Use the „oil pulling” technique: keep 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil in your mouth and rinse your teeth with it for 10-15 minutes, during which it will change its consistency, thickening. Finally, spit out the oil, rinse with lukewarm water and brush your teeth as usual. Repeat the technique every day for 10 days. You can also make "oil pulling" with olive oil, almond oil or sesame oil.
- Mash an equal amount of tomatoes and strawberries into a bowl, then apply the paste to your teeth and wait 5 minutes before rinsing with water. Repeat the process 2 times/week to get cleaner teeth.
- Lemon juice can also prevent tartar, but do not overuse it because it is acidic. Mix 20 ml lemon juice with 20 ml warm water, rinse your mouth with the resulting liquid for 1 minute, then spit it out and rinse with water.
- The orange peel is rich in Vitamin C and you can rub your teeth with its insides for 2 minutes to combat tartar formation. Then rinse your teeth with warm water to neutralize the acid. Repeat 2-3 times/week.
- Apple cider vinegar is a natural astringent with antibacterial properties and can combat the strengthening of bacterial plaque on the teeth. You can use it by soaking the toothbrush in vinegar, brushing for 5 minutes and rinsing your mouth responsibly at the end. Also white vinegar is helpful (make a solution of 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, then rinse your mouth 2 times/day with it).
- Black tea contains fluoride, which protects tooth enamel. Rinse your mouth 1-2 times/week with tea, then with water.
- Fruits and leaves of guava can remove bacterial plaque naturally (chew leaves daily; unripe fruit, sprinkled with salt, chew 1-2 times/day).
- he use of a DIY (homemade) anti-tartar toothpaste can also be a natural solution for people who want to avoid chemicals in commercial pasta. Mix 1/2 cup coconut oil, 3 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons stevia powder and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil (peppermint, for example), store this fine paste in a glass jar and use it daily when brushing. Another variant is a mixture of some water, 4 tablespoons of well ground sunflower seeds and 4 tablespoons of dried lime leaves, finely ground and mixed with any type of flour. Boil the mixture over a low heat for 30 minutes, then store it in a bowl and use it instead of a commercial tooth care.
Other ways to prevent tartar
Follow a rigorous dental hygiene
- wash your teeth at least 2 times a day: in the morning, after waking up (to remove bacteria collected in the oral cavity during sleep, to freshen your breath and prepare your teeth for a new day) and in the evening, before bedtime (to remove the plaque and eliminate the harmful effects that may occur due to the lower production of saliva during the night); obviously, if you use the toothbrush after each meal, it's even better (you can take one with you to work – it only takes 2 minutes to clean your teeth); tartar is fixed mainly on cramped, overlaid and flawless teeth, so insist in those areas; brush teeth with short, vertical movements;
- use not only the toothbrush, but also the dental floss (the only way to remove the plaque gathered between the teeth, area impossible to clean only with the brush), mouthwash (the antiseptic solution will eliminate bacteria) and a shower/oral irrigator (this device effectively cleans the interdental spaces using pressure water);
- change your toothbrush every 3 months, choosing one with soft bristles that don't press your gums.
Be careful what you drink and eat
- after the age of 3, children should be encouraged to eat hard foods from which to draw and bite with their teeth, in order to promote their uniform growth and avoid duplication;
- choose as rarely as possible acidic, high-carb, sugary, sticky foods and drinks that dry your mouth and feed the bacteria in it (sweets, bread, chips, peanut butter, dried/candied fruit, carbonated drinks, orange juice/lemon/grapefruit, coffee, pickles);
- consume hard and full of fiber fruits and vegetables (apples, carrots, celery stalk) at the end of the meal to sanitize the oral cavity, dislocate organic debris between the teeth, strengthen the teeth and stimulate saliva production;
- include as often as possible in your diet fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C (strawberries, tomatoes, sweet peppers, broccoli, spinach), which have antimicrobial properties, eliminates bacteria and can whiten teeth;
- consumes berries as often as possible, which neutralizes tartar, fights inflammation and protects the gums;
- consume dairy, for calcium and bioactive peptides beneficial to the teeth they contain (these have important functions in maintaining dental health, protecting enamel from caries);
- do not ignore nuts and seeds rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and zinc (almonds, Brazilian nuts, sesame seeds);
- drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum between meals if you can't brush your teeth.
Specialist studies indicate that smokers are more prone to tartar.
Go to the dentist 2 times/year
A visit to the dentist for a regular check-up and scaling, if necessary, is required every 6 months. It will sanitize your teeth, removing the bacterial plaque and its product – tartar – at the supra- and subgingival level.
Did you know that...?
- It does not take months for the bacterial plaque to become tartar? If you do not brush your teeth properly for only 2 days, the plaque is 50% mineralized; after 12 days of poor oral hygiene, the tartar is fully formed!
- The way tartar appears varies greatly from person to person and, as we age, its formation accelerates?
- To avoid tartar, should you brush your teeth before breakfast after drinking a cup of water? If you want to wash after every meal, wait 30 minutes, no more.
- Citrus are beneficial to teeth, because they have Vitamin C, but their juice is harmful in excess? For example, a 2011 study found that grapefruit juice is almost as harmful as Coca-Cola. Therefore, after drinking citrus juice, drink a glass of water to rinse and protect your tooth enamel.