If you take your fingernail and scrape it gently across the inside of one of your molars, you will notice white stuff under your fingernails.That substance is known as plaque. It is a sticky film of living and dead bacteria that grows on your teeth.
When plaque isn`t removed it can harden 50 percent within 48 hours,becoming rock hard after 12 days.That rock called calculus is more commonly known as tartar, and there are lots of reasons as to why you don`t want either one of them to coat your teeth. Not only do your teeth look and feel ugly they also begin to smell from the bacteria.
If plaque and tartar are left to harden on your teeth and gums over time you can develop another condition known as gingivitis and periodontal disease. As much as we would like to remove tarter from our teeth at home it really is impossible once it is there, so that is why we have to look for a professional cleaning to take care of it for us.
However, the good news is we can remove plaque. And by getting the plaque off our teeth we can prevent a lot of tarter buildup from happening. Removing plaque can be done quite easily but it must be done on a daily basis and done in the right way to prevent it from turning into tartar.
The most important tool is your brush , so think of your toothbrush as your sword and plaque as the enemy and what we want to do is to rub the enemy out with the friction of the toothbrush because it disrupts the bacterial plaque on the teeth as long as it is done correctly
Most of us have been taught to brush up and down or back and forth but that isn`t .the correct way. What you need to do is turn your brush so the bristles are at a 45-degree angle to the area where your tooth and gum meet, meaning the gum around your tooth, Very gently wiggle your brush in small circles , covering one or two teeth at a time.
Just remember to attack from the back because the back of your lower teeth is where the plaque is most likely to hide. Too much emphasis have been put on brushing on the smile surfaces, the upper teeth which are fairly accessible but less on the areas where the teeth come in contact with the tongue and cheek are neglected, the area where you should be putting most of your efforts on.
Take two minutes to brush your teeth. Most of us brush the smile area and give the rest of the teeth a quick once over. Studies show that most of us spend on average about 30 seconds which falls short of the two minutes that experts recommend
Don`t let a days worth of debris sleep in your mouth. If you can only brush once a day it is better to do it at night otherwise you will give your plaque 8 uninterrupted hours to settle in and do what it does best creating more plaque and tartar.
Buy a brush that fits. Think small when you choose your toothbrush because you want to reach all sides of your teeth including those at the very back of your mouth. Using a big brush won`t get the job done any faster and it won`t reach all the nooks and crannies those dirty germs like to hide in.
Choose soft round bristles. Soft nylon bristles are easier on tooth enamel but just as tough on removing plaque. Bristles should be rounded not sculptured because they are often sharp and may cut your gums. Also, hold your brush like a pen grip instead of a more common tennis racket grip. It produces less gum abrasion and healthier gums and still gets rid of the plaque, and is an easy way to prevent and remove tartar from your teeth at home.
How you floss is important. When it comes to plaque control, flossing is more important that brushing and it must be done correctly.so here is how. Break off 18 inches of floss and wind one end around the middle finger of one hand and the other end around the same finger of the other hand, leaving about an inch of floss between them. Using a gentle back and forth motion, pass the floss between two teeth. When the floss gets to the gum line curve it in a C against one tooth and slide the floss between the gum and the tooth till you feel some resistance. Curve it around the other tooth the same way. Scrape floss downward on upper teeth and upward on lower teeth,.
Don`t snap that floss up and down in and out of your gums as if you popping plaque to death, because you are whipping your gum tissue too. Slow down and take your time. Remember floss is floss so find one you like and use it. It does n`t matter if it is flavored, unflavored waxed or unwaxed, string , or tape. However People who have spaces between their teeth may prefer tape, or the flavoring may make you feel fresher but all in all they work the same no matter what type of floss you choose. If you run out of floss use ordinary sewing thread and use it the same way as floss.
Try the old standby baking soda. Dip your brush in soda or mix a tablespoon of soda with a pinch of salt in a cup of water then wet your brush and scrub. Or you can use water alone just wet your brush and go after the plaque
If you can`t brush after every meal or have toothpaste handy then just swish a mouthful of water around your teeth. One good swish will remove most of the debris that can accumulate after a meal which may save you from an embarrassing moment.
Gently hose down your teeth and gums with a dental sprayer such as a water pik which helps remove food from between the teeth. But remember if you use enough water pressure to blast the plaque it may hurt your gums. It is also not a replacement for a toothbrush or floss if you want to win the war on plaque.
Try and electric brush. Forget the conventional toothbrushes that vibrate the plaque off your teeth. There are new electric toothbrushes with bristles that rotate while the stem remains still. There are several brands for sale such as Interplak, Roda Dent. They work the brushes used by hygienists and they are the perfect instrument for people who have arthritis or those who are handicapped that prevent them from using a regular brush effectively.
According to research these brushes remove as much has 98.2 %of plaque from the tooth surface versus as little as 48.6 % removed by hand brushing. So with a few tips and the right instruments you too can easily remove tartar from your teeth at home to enjoy a whiter and brighter smile.