How to Control Plaque in Your Own Home

By  //  May 3, 2021

Plaque is annoying and can lead to cavities if you aren’t careful. It’s important to make sure you get rid of all the plaque on your teeth when brushing in order to maintain good health. 

Plaque is the thin accumulation of bacterial products (like food and saliva) that grows in the mouth and adheres to one’s teeth, gums, and tongue. Removing plaque constantly and consistently will prevent decay. 

To learn about plaque control in your own home, keep reading. 

Tips For Removing Plaque

You should get into a good habit of removing plaque from your teeth every day. But sometimes just brushing your teeth isn’t enough to ensure that all of the plaque vacates your mouth. Sometimes you need a few extra steps to ensure that your mouth is left squeaky clean. 

The best habits to remove plaque include flossing your teeth by: 

Using 18 inches of floss and wrapping one end around each of your middle fingers. 

■ Holding the floss tight between your thumbs and forefingers to press the floss between your teeth. 

■ Move the floss in a C shape around each tooth, on each side. 

■ Rub the floss up and down gently as you press it against each tooth. Do not jerk or snap the floss. 

■ Repeat this same process for your upper and lower teeth. 

Make sure to brush your teeth after flossing. The best way to brush your teeth is to: 

■  Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush. 

■  Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. 

■  Move the brush back and forth in short gentle strokes that are the same width as each individual tooth.

■  Brush each tooth this way, making sure you get the fronts, sides, backs, and tops. Don’t forget to brush your tongue. 

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is the act of swishing oil around in your mouth to strengthen your teeth, soothe sore gums, prevent tooth decay, and remove plaque. You can use coconut oil or olive oil for oil pulling. 

When oil pulling, you’ll want to put one tablespoon of your chosen oil into your mouth for 20 to 30 minutes (yes, actually that long), continuously swishing it around the entire time. The constant movement will break down any plaque you may have while also helping to soothe pain and prevent further decay. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great way to remove plaque, and toothpaste that includes baking soda is much more effective than those that don’t. Not only does baking soda help break down plaque, but it also helps prevent it from growing back as quickly. 

Baking soda is gritty, meaning it’s good for scrubbing while still being gentle on the teeth. Opt for a toothpaste that includes baking soda to get the best plaque removal and prevention. 

Does Plaque Cause Tartar?

If you let plaque build up on your teeth for too long, you can develop serious health problems. Plaque can damage your teeth and your gums. When left alone, plaque can combine with the saliva in your mouth to form tartar above and below the gum line. 

Tartar cannot be removed by brushing, flossing or scrubbing, but has to be removed by a dentist using special tools to pick the tartar off the teeth. 

Prevent Plaque and Tartar From Forming 

The best way to get rid of plaque and tartar is to prevent them from forming at all. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, once when you wake up and once before bed. Flossing, using a water pick, and incorporating oil pulling and baking soda into your routine can also help to prevent the formation of plaque.