How To Remove Hardened Plaque From Teeth

Hardened plaque, also known as tartar or calculus, is a common dental issue that affects many individuals. It forms when the soft plaque on teeth mineralizes and hardens over time due to inadequate oral hygiene practices. This hardened plaque can pose various problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. While regular brushing and flossing can help prevent the formation of hardened plaque, removing existing buildup requires additional measures.

This article aims to provide comprehensive guidance on how to effectively remove hardened plaque from teeth.

Key Takeaways

  • Hardened plaque, also known as tartar or calculus, can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
  • Regular brushing and flossing with proper techniques can help prevent hardened plaque formation.
  • Professional dental cleanings, including scaling and root planing, are necessary to remove existing hardened plaque.
  • Using plaque-fighting products like toothpaste with tartar control, electric toothbrushes, and water flossers can help fight and prevent plaque buildup.

Practice Proper Oral Hygiene

Practicing diligent oral hygiene is essential for effectively removing hardened plaque from teeth. A proper brushing technique plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health and preventing the buildup of plaque. It is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Start by placing the bristles at a 45-degree angle against the gum line, gently moving the brush back and forth in short, circular motions. Be sure to clean all surfaces of the teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces.

In addition to regular brushing, flossing techniques are equally important in plaque removal. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque that may be trapped between teeth or along the gum line. To properly floss, take about 18 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about two inches between them. Gently slide the floss between each tooth using a sawing motion while curving it into a C shape around each tooth. Make sure to go beneath the gum line but be careful not to snap or force the floss.

By incorporating these proper brushing techniques and effective flossing methods into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce plaque formation on your teeth. In the subsequent section about ‘try home remedies,’ we will explore additional strategies for tackling hardened plaque without professional intervention.

Try Home Remedies

Using natural remedies at home can be an effective approach to combatting the build-up of stubborn deposits on dental surfaces. Many individuals prefer natural remedies as they are easily accessible, cost-effective, and often have minimal side effects compared to professional treatments. Homemade solutions such as baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar, and oil pulling have gained popularity for their potential plaque-fighting properties.

Baking soda mixed with water forms a paste that can be applied to the teeth using a toothbrush or finger. This alkaline substance helps neutralize acids in the mouth and gently removes plaque when used regularly. Apple cider vinegar diluted with water has antimicrobial properties that may inhibit the growth of bacteria responsible for plaque formation. However, it is important to use caution as excessive use or undiluted solutions may erode tooth enamel.

Oil pulling involves swishing coconut or sesame oil in the mouth for several minutes before spitting it out. Some believe that this technique helps remove bacteria and debris from teeth surfaces, reducing plaque accumulation. Although these natural remedies show promise in preventing and reducing hardened plaque, it is crucial to remember that they should not replace regular dental cleanings performed by professionals.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about scheduling regular dental cleanings: While home remedies can contribute to maintaining oral health, it is essential to complement them with routine visits to your dentist for professional cleanings and examinations.

Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings are an essential part of maintaining oral hygiene and preventing the buildup of hardened plaque on teeth. These cleanings involve a thorough examination and removal of tartar and plaque from the tooth surfaces, including those hard-to-reach areas that regular brushing and flossing may miss. In some cases, individuals may require scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning procedure that involves removing bacteria and tartar from beneath the gumline to prevent or treat gum disease.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Dental cleaning by a trained dental professional involves the use of specialized tools to effectively remove hardened plaque from teeth. Regular dental check-ups are important for maintaining oral health and preventing the build-up of plaque, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Professional dental cleanings have several benefits, including thorough removal of plaque and tartar that cannot be achieved through regular brushing and flossing alone. Dental professionals use instruments such as scalers and ultrasonic devices to carefully remove plaque deposits from the surface of the teeth and along the gumline. These cleanings also provide an opportunity for dentists to identify any signs of potential oral health issues early on, allowing for prompt treatment. Transitioning into the subsequent section about scaling and root planing, this procedure is often recommended when there is significant plaque accumulation or gum disease present.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a periodontal procedure that focuses on deep cleaning the surfaces of the roots of teeth, helping to eliminate harmful bacteria and promote healthier gum tissue. The scaling procedure involves removing plaque and tartar deposits from the tooth surface using specialized dental tools. This process reaches below the gum line to remove hardened plaque that cannot be removed through regular brushing or flossing. Root planing, on the other hand, smooths out rough areas on the roots of teeth, making it more difficult for bacteria to adhere and form new plaque. By effectively removing these bacterial deposits, scaling and root planing can prevent further infection and inflammation in the gums. It is an essential treatment for individuals with gum disease. Transitioning into the subsequent section about ‘use plaque-fighting products,’ maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home is crucial after undergoing scaling and root planing procedures.

Use Plaque-Fighting Products

This discussion will focus on three key points for fighting plaque: toothpaste with tartar control, electric toothbrushes, and water flossers. Toothpaste with tartar control contains ingredients that help prevent the formation of hardened plaque on teeth. Electric toothbrushes provide a more thorough and efficient cleaning compared to manual brushing, effectively removing plaque from all areas of the mouth. Water flossers use a stream of water to remove plaque and food particles from between teeth and along the gumline, complementing regular brushing and flossing.

Toothpaste with Tartar Control

Toothpaste formulated with tartar control has been shown to effectively combat hardened plaque on the teeth, leaving individuals feeling confident in their oral health. This type of toothpaste offers several benefits for tartar control:

  1. Tartar prevention: The active ingredients in these toothpastes help prevent the formation of new tartar, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and gum disease.
  2. Plaque removal: Tartar control toothpaste contains abrasive agents that aid in removing existing plaque from the teeth’s surface.
  3. Fresh breath: Many tartar control toothpastes also contain breath-freshening ingredients such as mint or cinnamon, providing a long-lasting fresh feeling.
  4. Natural remedies: Some brands use natural ingredients like baking soda or cranberry extract, which have been shown to have antimicrobial properties and help prevent tartar formation.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about electric toothbrushes, it is important to consider how incorporating this device into your oral care routine can further enhance plaque removal and overall dental hygiene.

Electric Toothbrush

The use of an electric toothbrush has been found to significantly improve oral hygiene practices and contribute to a more effective dental care routine. Electric toothbrushes provide numerous benefits compared to manual ones. They have rotating or vibrating bristles that can remove plaque more efficiently, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Additionally, some electric toothbrushes come with built-in timers that ensure individuals brush for the recommended two minutes. This feature helps maintain consistent brushing time, which is often overlooked with manual brushes. Moreover, studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing stains from teeth, resulting in a brighter smile. When choosing an electric toothbrush, it is important to consider features such as different brushing modes and pressure sensors for gentle cleaning. Transitioning into the subsequent section about water flossers, these devices offer another effective method for maintaining optimal oral health.

Water Flosser

Water flossers, also known as oral irrigators, have gained popularity as an alternative to traditional dental floss for removing plaque and debris from teeth. These devices use a stream of water or mouthwash to clean between the teeth and along the gumline. The effectiveness of water flossers in reducing plaque and improving gum health has been supported by various studies. They are particularly useful for individuals with braces, implants, or bridges, as they can reach areas that are difficult to clean with regular floss. When considering the best brands of water flossers, it is important to look for features such as adjustable pressure settings, multiple tips for different needs, and ease of use. Transitioning into the subsequent section about maintaining a healthy diet, it is crucial to understand that oral hygiene practices alone may not be sufficient in achieving optimal dental health.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Consuming a balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in promoting oral health and preventing the buildup of hardened plaque on teeth. Healthy eating habits can help maintain strong teeth and gums, while reducing the risk of dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. Here are five dietary recommendations to support optimal oral health:

  • Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks: Excessive consumption of sugary foods and drinks provides fuel for plaque bacteria, leading to acid production that erodes tooth enamel.
  • Increase Calcium Intake: Calcium-rich foods like dairy products, leafy greens, and almonds help strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Eat Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables: Chewing on fiber-rich fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and neutralize acid.
  • Include Vitamin C-Rich Foods: Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums. Incorporate citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, or kiwi into your diet.
  • Stay Hydrated with Water: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day promotes saliva production that washes away food debris from teeth.

Maintaining a healthy diet not only contributes to overall well-being but also improves dental care by minimizing plaque formation. By following these dietary guidelines along with regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, individuals can effectively prevent hardened plaque buildup on their teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hardened plaque cause tooth decay and cavities?

Hardened plaque, or tartar, can contribute to tooth decay and cavities by providing a rough surface for bacteria to adhere to. Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent the formation of hardened plaque and reduce the risk of gum disease.

How long does it take for plaque to harden into tartar?

The hardening process of plaque into tartar can vary among individuals, but it typically takes around 24 to 72 hours. Certain factors like poor oral hygiene, saliva composition, and diet may contribute to faster tartar buildup in some individuals.

Are there any natural remedies to prevent the buildup of hardened plaque?

Natural remedies can help prevent the buildup of hardened plaque on teeth. These remedies include regular brushing and flossing, using baking soda or hydrogen peroxide as mouthwash, oil pulling with coconut oil, and consuming foods rich in vitamin C.

Can hardened plaque be removed at home without professional dental help?

Home remedies for removing hardened plaque from teeth can be effective, but they cannot replace professional dental cleaning. While home remedies like oil pulling and baking soda may help reduce plaque buildup, regular dental cleanings are essential for complete removal of hardened plaque.

What are the consequences of not removing hardened plaque from teeth?

Untreated plaque build-up can lead to various consequences such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. To prevent hardened plaque formation, maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine including regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings is crucial.


In conclusion, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for removing hardened plaque from teeth. It involves practicing regular brushing and flossing techniques, as well as using mouthwash to kill bacteria. Home remedies can also be effective, such as oil pulling and baking soda paste. However, it is important to schedule regular dental cleanings to remove any stubborn plaque buildup. Additionally, incorporating plaque-fighting products into your oral care routine and maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent the formation of hardened plaque on your teeth.

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