Having plaque on your teeth can not only be unsightly, but it's also unhealthy. Although many anti-plaque products exist on the commercial market, many of them are laden with nasty chemicals.
If want an all-natural alternative to regular toothpastes and mouthwashes, there are several ways to get rid of plaque or prevent it from forming without having to rely on chemical treatments.
What is Dental Plaque?
Dental plaque is an invisible substance that gathers onto the teeth when we eat or drink. Medical studies say that dental plaque is a structurally - and functionally -organised microbial biofilm.
Dental plaque is comprised of food debris, bacteria and bacterial waste, and most of it can be removed with regular oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing the teeth every day.
What is Tartar?
Tartar is what can happen when plaque goes untreated.
Tartar is a hard, mineral build-up that is not removable except at a dentist’s office using specialised instruments. For this reason, it’s imperative to take care of plaque before it turns into a tartar problem.
The Dangers of Dental Plaque
When dental plaque builds up, it can cause bacterial infections in the mouth that often require antibiotic treatment.
When it is left unchecked and becomes tartar, it may cause the gums to recede, leading to bone loss and gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis that require advanced treatments in a dentist’s office.
Poor oral hygiene can also cause demineralisation in the tooth structure and lead to the appearance of white spots on teeth.
Home Remedies for Removing and Preventing Plaque Build-Up
The good news is, plaque problems can be nipped in the bud by using one or more of the following simple (and best of all, natural) techniques.
Opt for toothpaste tablets instead of toothpaste
Make the switch to toothpaste tablets with natural ingredients to prevent plaque build-up and remineralise your enamel. These Native Rivermint Toothpaste Tablets contain ingredients like Sodium Bicarbonate, Calcium Carbonate, Xylitol and Erythritol to effectively polish teeth and prevent tartar from forming.
Plus, they're 100% plastic-free, making them a better choice for the environment and your oral health.
Orange peel method
Rub the inside (white part) of an orange peel on the surface of your teeth for about two minutes before brushing your teeth.
The orange peel contains vitamin C which has been shown to prevent plaque build-up and help whiten the teeth.
Polishing your teeth with an orange peel is a plaque-fighting remedy that smells really good too!
Sesame seed scrub
Sesame oil has been found to reduce plaque induced gingivitis.
Grab a teaspoon of sesame seeds and grind them up with your teeth. Then, brush the leftover particles with a dry toothbrush. The ground-up bits of sesame seed will act as a gentle (and tasty) abrasive to clear and polish the surface of the teeth of plaque.
Coconut oil paste
You can harness the power of coconut oil in many ways, including those which are beneficial to your teeth.
Simply measure out two tablespoons each of unrefined coconut oil and baking soda into a bowl (you can also add a few drops of your chosen essential oil, such as peppermint essential oil if you want). Dip a toothbrush into the paste and brush as usual.
Rinse with PAP and nHAp
Using a mouthwash with Phthalimidoperoxycaproicacid (PAP) and Nano-Hydroxyapatite (nHAp) will work wonders for your oral health. We recommend these nHAp Mouthwash Drops.
PAP is a scientifically proven teeth whitening ingredient that is a safe alternative to peroxide. It has no negative side effects during the oxidation of tooth stains which allows it to effectively whiten without pain or sensitivity.
Hydroxyapatite is the main component of teeth. nHAp is a nano-synthetic version which replaces minerals back into damaged parts of the enamel. Over time this will help to strengthen the protective layers of the tooth.
Fruits rich in vitamin C
By eating and even brushing with fruits rich in vitamin C, you can remove plaque and maintain better health overall.
Not only does vitamin C boost the immune system and allow your body to naturally fight off potential oral infections, brushing with crushed strawberries, for example, is a deliciously decadent way to effectively remove plaque!
The Ayurvedic method of oil pulling is a time-tested method for mouth cleanliness and is a wonderful way to maintain a clean mouth that is plaque-free.
Aloe vera is a common medicinal herb that has many healing properties.
Similar to its use on skin, aloe vera is used to cleanse and soothe teeth and gums. A small study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology evaluated aloe vera for clinical parameters such as plaque and gingival index. The results showed improvement in plaque and periodontal conditions.
The healing and preventative powers of aloe vera gel can also be used for maintaining a clean mouth. Sprinkle some aloe vera gel on your toothbrush and brush your teeth for a few minutes to keep tartar under control.
Chewing an apple
While eating an apple will not remove plaque, one scientific study found that “it does produce an immediate reduction in salivary bacterial viability similar to that after tooth brushing.”