Ever missed a day (or perhaps two) of brushing your pearly whites, only to later on notice an unsightly lining of some hard, yellow substance upon your beloved teeth? Well, this hard substance is actually a result of a gradual accumulation of the dreaded plaque (read: soft, sticky film where bacteria proliferate) and it’s referred to as tartar.
Now, if you continue to neglect your teeth, with the passing of time, your tartar scenario will only get worse and worse if not handled in time. It could also lead to several serious complications like gingivitis, or in very severe cases, periodontitis (1). All of which, it’s safe to say, are not fun. At all.
The best way to remove all that dreadful tartar is to pay a long overdue visit to one’s dentist, of course. But if that’s not a feasible option for you at the moment, worry not! There are still some great home remedies to getting rid of tartar naturally. In fact, here are our top 3 home remedies to do the same:
1. Baking Soda
Also known as sodium bicarbonate (to sticklers for scientific names!), baking soda is a brilliant and cost-effective home remedy for getting rid of that pesky tartar! Having an alkaline pH, baking soda basically neutralizes the enamel-destroying acids that are present in your mouth, which also leads to a decrease in the population of harmful bacteria residing there. Together, all of this produces bright, white teeth that you can flash with pride!
You can use baking soda to banish tartar in the following ways:
- Wet your toothbrush with some tap water and apply a small amount of baking soda upon the wet bristles of your toothbrush. Now, proceed to brush your teeth as you usually do, then rinse your mouth thoroughly with cool water.
- Another great option is to mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda with a teaspoon of table salt. Next, dip a wet toothbrush’s bristles into this mixture and coat thoroughly. Then gently brush your teeth and rinse your mouth as you usually do.
- Alternatively, you can mix a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide to a teaspoon of baking soda and create a paste of smooth consistency. Gently brush your teeth with this mixture and remember to thoroughly rinse your mouth once done.
- You could use any of the above-mentioned methods once or even twice per week.
Caution: Be careful not to use an excessive amount of baking soda when preparing this remedy and do not practice the above-mentioned treatments more than twice a week as an excess baking soda can have deleterious effects on one’s enamel over time.
2. Oil Pulling
This is actually an age-old dental practice that was followed to maintain oral hygiene by our ancestors. It’s also a great remedy for eliminating tartar from one’s teeth! In fact, according to studies, oil pulling when practiced with coconut oil is very effective in visibly reducing plaque, and even tartar, formation (2). This is probably because extra virgin olive oil is rich in lauric acid, which is renowned for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
So, if you’re interested in following this inexpensive and simple tartar-busting remedy, simply do the following:
- Swish around 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (we recommend the extra virgin kind) in your mouth for up to 20 minutes.
- Once you’re done, spit the oil out (do not attempt to swallow or gargle) and rinse your mouth with water.
- Next, brush your teeth as you usually do.
- Repeat this treatment every morning before breakfast.
Cloves are a staple ingredient in most Indian kitchens; hence, this is one tartar-busting treatment that won’t require you to make a special run to the grocery store! Additionally, we’re no strangers to cloves and dental care. After all, how many times have our grandmas and mothers given us ground cloves to combat the excruciating pain of a toothache? Innumerable times, that’s how many!
And science seems to back this age-old practice. According to experts, herbal mouth rinses that happen to contain tea tree oil, cloves, and basil as ingredients are successful in reducing bacterial colonies in one’s mouth, thereby decreasing plaque formation and reducing one’s chances of developing gingivitis.
So, if you too want to benefit from the dental blessings of cloves, follow the steps listed below:
- Grind cloves in an electric grinder till they form a smooth powder. Now, mix a teaspoon of your powdered cloves to half a teaspoon of olive oil. Next, massage this mixture on your teeth and leave it on for 5 minutes. Once done, rinse your mouth with lukewarm water and you’re good to go! Do this twice a day for best results.
- Additionally, to accelerate your tartar elimination, try chewing 1-2 cloves regularly to reduce bad breath and improve oral hygiene.
Tartar doesn’t have to hold your smile hostage anymore. If a dentist isn’t an option, use the above-mentioned natural home remedies and reclaim your 1000 watts smile again!