Plaque and Tartar: What are the signs and how to remove them

Is It Possible to Remove Plaque or Tartar at Home? Let’s Find Out!


To answer your query - it’s not that simple! You will need professional assistance!

Who doesn’t like a picture-perfect smile in their social media posts? But imagine, you’re posing for a selfie but what gets captured is the tartar on your teeth. Although it is common, plaque accumulation or tartar isn’t a pretty sight - especially because tartar can leave a brown or black stain on your teeth.

What is tartar?

When bacteria in the mouth interact with leftover food particles, it forms plaque - a white sticky coating on the surface of the teeth. If neglected, this plaque can, over time, harden into a substance called tartar that is medically known as dental calculus. Tartar feels rough in the mouth and can lead to swelling and bleeding in the gums. If it appears below the gumline tartar can leave a brown or black stain, and if it’s above the gumline it will be yellowish or tanned. And if you don’t look into it, tartar can gradually become darker and larger.

It isn’t breaking news that tartar is bad for oral health. So, it is crucial to remove it. But in case you’re planning to trust your skill set and remove tartar from teeth at home, hear us out! Things can get a bit tricky.

Why visiting a dentist is the best option

Tartar is stubborn and not easy to get rid of. You may try to brush your teeth rigorously in hopes to remove the stain but it can do more harm than good. Trying to do it on your own can also end up damaging the enamel and hurt the gums. Going to the dentist will ensure that your teeth are treated properly and with advanced dental tools. Dentists are also skilled in handling the gums delicately, so you can trust them to remove the tartar without much hassle. Dentists use the process of scaling to remove tartar safely with the help of manual scaling tools or an ultrasonic device. So, don’t shy away from visiting your dental health expert for a clean and meticulous job.

How you can prevent tartar buildup

You know how the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. While you cannot remove tartar at home and you have to take professional assistance, you can definitely remove plaque at home. So, here are a few tips you can follow at home to prevent tartar buildup and ensure that it does not stain your perfect smile -

  • Brush twice a day: The first step to maintain a good oral hygiene routine is to brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing just once after waking up is not enough as there are greater chances of plaque accumulation during the night, courtesy of the tiny food particles (if any) stuck in your teeth and bacteria. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush or the Oral-B electric toothbrush once in the morning and before going to bed each night as part of your oral care routine.

  • Scrape your tongue: Do not underestimate the significance of this simple act - using a tongue scraper or the back of your toothbrush to clean the tongue can make a big difference in maintaining good oral hygiene. Many times, the bacteria in your mouth can accumulate on the surface of the tongue, especially at the back. If you see a white sticky coating on the tongue, it’s a sign of bacteria. These mouth bacteria can interact with tiny food particles between the teeth and lead to tartar and other teeth and gum diseases.

  • Rinse off with a mouthwash: A mouthwash is helpful in killing the bacteria in your mouth and nipping plaque formation in the bud. So, after brushing, rinse with a dental-approved mouthwash.

  • Floss well, floss often: You may be tempted to skip this step but don’t! Flossing twice a day is just as important as brushing twice daily. Flossing ensures that any miniscule food particle or plaque that may have been hiding between the teeth is removed. Use plain, waxed floss strips that can easily slide between the teeth and remove plaque effectively.

  • Go for regular teeth cleanings: Don’t let the plaque situation get bad - visit the dentist regularly to get your teeth professionally cleaned. It is recommended to get teeth cleanings done once every six months.

While it is not a good idea to try and remove tartar from teeth at home, tartar can surely be prevented if you take the right precautions. Visit the dentist regularly and maintain a healthy dental care routine. It is also important to use advanced dental products every day such as the Oral-B electric toothbrushes that will clean the teeth effectively and remove all the plaque easily.

Interested to know more about plaque and tartar? Here’s a complete guide on dental plaque and tartar.