How to remove plaque from teeth

If you want to remove plaque from teeth, you must first understand what it is, how it forms, how it differs from tartar and when it’s best to involve a dentist.

What is dental plaque and how does it form?

Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that will form on your teeth forever. 

A normal substance your mouth produces from eating foods that contain sugar, plaque is not hugely harmful if removed regularly with routine dental cleans alongside daily brushing and flossing. 

Ignoring dental plaque can have pretty bad consequences.

For example, when not removed, the bacteria can spread and begin to irritate your gums, leading to gum disease, receding gums and triangular pockets. Ignoring plaque will harden and develop into tartar, which you won’t be able to manage or remove at home.

The sticky, soft biofilm accumulating on teeth can weaken the tooth’s structure as bacteria turn sugar into acid, which is dangerous to oral health when not managed correctly.

How to get rid of plaque:

  • – Regular hygiene cleans
  • – Hand scaling and root planning
  • – Flossing after every meal
  • – Brushing your teeth twice a day effectively

Dental hygiene appointments at our clinic in Surrey cost £75, which includes AirFlow treatment that blasts and removes surface staining at the same time. Book now.

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The difference between plaque and tartar

Plaque is a soft, thin film that will form and appear around teeth daily – usually transparent, white or pale yellow; plaque is the stage of decay that, if not removed, will harden into tartar.

Tartar, in comparison, is hard and sharp and attaches itself above the gum line on teeth, making the teeth appear discoloured. When not removed, tartar can stain the teeth, eat away at the gums and allow gum disease to thrive.

You might find home remedies online that say, for example, you can use baking soda to prevent and treat tartar buildup on your teeth. But this is not something we would recommend. It’s best to prevent tartar build-up entirely by ensuring a good oral hygiene routine that keeps plaque from forming into tartar.

If tartar is present currently in your smile, it’s best to put it in the hands of a dental professional, who can easily remove it, and often in just 30 minutes.

It's not a good idea to remove or break off calculus tartar yourself

Considering the consequences of allowing tartar to build up, booking a hygiene session and cleaning will be worth the money.

Trying to remove tartar at home can cause serious damage to the underlying tooth and gums, as it’s not possible to do without proper dental equipment and tools.

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What to do if it breaks off

Tartar or dental calculus can eventually break off of teeth once it becomes dense enough due to aggressive brushing or eating food in a certain way, or it can break off through flossing during the early stages of maturation.

When tartar chips off will leave a sharp spot behind on the tooth, quickly becoming obvious to you.

It’s not something to worry about immediately, but booking a hygiene appointment is recommended to treat the exposed areas to smooth them and make them shiny again.

When to visit the dentist

Whilst the recommendation is to visit a dentist once every six months, some patients build up plaque and tartar faster than others, which might mean they are more prone to issues like tooth decay and gum disease. So, it’s best to consult with the dentist on the type of maintenance schedule that is best for your condition.

Deep cleaning might be recommended if you have gum disease and the tartar has built up in the pockets between teeth and in some serious cases, down to the tooth roots.

If you know you have gum disease and tartar and plaque are a concern for you – it’s best to visit the dentist as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a “dentist near me” in Surrey, then you might be a good option.


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