How To Remove Tartar And Dental Plaque From Teeth Naturally

It’s important to understand the reason behind dental care and oral hygiene in order to understand how to care for our teeth.

The root of most dental problems stems from plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria and food particles that build up on the surface of teeth, causing problems including bad breath, discoloration, cavities, and gum problems.

However, there are ways to help reduce plaque and remove it, especially by brushing and flossing twice daily. However, there are many other ways you can fight both plaque and tartar.

The Difference Between Tartar And Plaque

What is A Plaque?

Plaque is sticky and usually colorless or pale white. It is soft and builds upon the surface of teeth or along the gum line.

The film of plaque that builds up in your mouth is composed of bacteria and food particles, and it collects on the surface of your teeth every day.

The problem with plaque is that it can cause oral health issues including but not limited to bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and harden to become tartar.

Plaque is bad for teeth because it is composed of bacteria, rendering it acidic. It can erode and break down enamel. It will continue to break down enamel until neutralized or cleaned away.

If plaque is not cleaned away, the plaque can break through the enamel and cause cavities and other issues. Fortunately, brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily is one of the things you can do that curbs the effects of plaque.

Components Of Plaque

There are many different types of bacteria that are present in the mouth that contribute to overall health.

These bacteria and neutrophils, leukocytes, lymphocytes, and macrophages are all part of a normal and healthy oral cavity. Plaque is not, but it is natural and normal. Plaque is actually 90% water in most cases, but 70% of the dry weight of plaque is bacteria, and the other 30% is composed of glycoproteins and polysaccharides.

Three Main Components Of Plaque

  • BActeria
  • Subgingival biofilm
  • Supragingival biofilm

The microorganisms that form the plaque biofilm vary in composition by location in the mouth but are mainly anaerobes and Streptococcus mutant.

These bacterias are normally present in plaque and are usually harmless. However, if you fail to remove the plaque regularly, it can build up and cause problems as they ferment, becoming acidic and eroding enamel.

This type of biofilm is located under the gums, characterized by the downward growth of the bacteria.

This plaque is also mainly composed of anaerobic bacteria, which means it can only thrive in places where there is no oxygen, which is why it attaches in airless pockets under the gums. It must be removed to be treated.

This type of biofilm is located above the gums, which is the first type of plaque to form after brushing and flossing, usually forming between the teeth and just above the gumline. The bacteria that make up this kind of plaque is mostly aerobic, meaning it needs oxygen to survive.


Tartar is yellow or yellowish brown in color.

It is the result of plaque buildup that has been left too long, becoming crusty, porous, and hard, usually attaching along the gumline.

It feels heavier than a plaque and looks unsightly. When plaque isn’t brushed away, it can become tartar.

Tartar is bad for teeth because it is both porous and hard, giving a place for bacteria to multiply underneath. If tartar is not removed, it will continue to grow and calcify.

Tartar is difficult to remove, and can only be done by a dentist. Specified instruments can remove the plaque with ease when done by a professional. Both brushing and flossing daily, along with tartar control toothpaste are your best options for controlling and preventing tartar build up.

Facts About Tartar And Plaque

Plaque is a biofilm

A biofilm is any group of microorganisms that stick together and form a film together, adhering to any number of surfaces. For example, the plaque is a bacterial biofilm, made up of over 300 different types of bacterial components, which adhere to the surface of teeth. It is colorless, sticky, and you can tell it’s there when your teeth feel “fuzzy” against your tongue.

The right mouthwash can help

Some mouthwashes and rinses have been found to help fight plaque and neutralize plaque causing bacterias, lowering your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and tartar build up. In particular, rinses with fluoride and antimycobacterial properties are best for fighting plaque and tartar. Alcohol is also a good antibacterial agent, but for some users, mouthwashes with this ingredient may be too harsh or drying.

Visiting the dentist is an important part of keeping plaque at bay

It’s important to visit the dentist twice annually, for both checkups and cleanings. In particular, cleanings are important for fighting plaque and tartar. In the case that plaque does harden to become tartar, your dentist or hygienist can use special tools to scrape and clean the tartar away. They may also recommend better ways to help you fight plaque at home so you can have healthier teeth.

There is a link between heart and gum disease

Although arterial plaque and dental plaque are both unwanted substances that collect in different parts of the body, they are not the same. However, there is a link between heart disease and gum disease. Also, bacteria contributing to plaque in the mouth can find its way into the bloodstream by way of diseased gum tissue, contributing to clogged blood vessels

Opt for tap water

Most public water systems have added fluoride, helping to prevent cavities caused by plaque and tartar build-up. So, if you’re looking to help further protect your teeth and fight plaque, opt for tap water contain small amounts of fluoride, or you can add fluoride to your drinking water yourself. However, large amounts of fluoride do cause brown spots, which is why only a small amount is needed to help protect teeth.

Plaque forms when carbohydrates come into contact with your teeth

When you eat something that’s a sugar or starch, it qualifies as a carbohydrate. When carbohydrates come into contact with your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth can collect. A by-product of bacteria eating away at leftover food particles is the acidic substance now as plaque. These acids can break down tooth enamel, causing all kinds of tooth and gum issues, including gingivitis and tooth decay.

Brushing and flossing are your best defense

One of the best things you can do for your teeth to prevent plaque and tartar buildup is to brush and floss twice a day, every day. You can also use plaque fighting toothpaste and mouthwashes to help reduce plaque as well. There are lots of ways you can fight plaque naturally too.

Consequences Of Plaque And Tartar Buildup

There are many health risks and problems that develop due to plaque and tartar build up over time.

Some effects are reversible, while others can be managed and treated, but not cured. Which is why it’s so important to stop plaque before it causes health issues.

There have been established links between many different health conditions and periodontal disease, one of the main results of plaque buildup.

Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, and even premature birth. However, more research is needed to establish a more clear connection.

We’ll go over the top three direct results of plaque and tartar buildup.


Gingivitis is a very common result of plaque buildup inside the oral cavity.

The bacteria found in plaque causes inflammation of the gums, causing gingivitis.

Gingivitis is usually identified by red, swollen gums and bleeding when brushing or flossing, often referred to as “pink in the sink.”

Gingivitis can lead to more serious problems, including gum disease. However, Gingivitis caused by plaque is reversible with proper dental care and regular plaque removal.

Signs of Gingivitis

  • Tenderness
  • Pain and aching
  • Red and purple gums
  • Swelling and puffiness
  • Bleeding gums
  • Halitosis (Bad breath)

Risk Factors

  • Age- Those who are older tend to be at a higher risk, but anyone can develop gingivitis
  • Poor dental hygiene- Those who don’t brush and floss their teeth twice daily are at a higher risk
  • Aggressive hygiene- Brushing too hard, brushing with stiff bristles etc.
  • Osteoporosis- Those with this disease are at a higher risk for developing gingivitis
  • Dry mouth- Caused by a number of factors
  • Smoking
  • Genetics


Periodontitis is an infection of the gums, leading to bone destruction around the teeth.

This occurs after gingivitis has established itself and has not been treated, and has progressed instead to develop into periodontitis.

Plaque and tartar buildup play a key role when it comes to developing periodontitis, as the bacteria in plaque will break down the enamel and bone.

Periodontitis cannot be reversed but can be treated with a strict cleaning regime and very regular visits to the dentist. In some extreme cases, antibiotics and/or surgery are recommended.

Signs of Periodontitis

  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Tenderness and pain along the gumline
  • Swollen gums
  • Pus and other fluids between your teeth and gums
  • Halitosis (Bad breath)
  • New spaces developing between teeth
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth (receded) making them appear longer than normal
  • Loose teeth

Risk Factors

  • Poor diet
  • Not treating gingivitis
  • Age- Those who are older tend to be at a higher risk, but anyone can develop gingivitis
  • Poor dental hygiene- Those who don’t brush and floss their teeth twice daily are at a higher risk
  • Aggressive hygiene- Brushing too hard, brushing with stiff bristles etc.
  • Osteoporosis- Those with this disease are at a higher risk for developing gingivitis
  • Dry mouth- Caused by a number of factors
  • Smoking
  • Genetics

Caries (Cavities)

Caries, also more commonly known as cavities, are a disease caused by Streptococcus mutants as acid breaks down and demineralizes the enamel of teeth. As the cavity progresses, it can invade the inner dental tissue as well. It causes a hole to develop in the infected tooth as well, leading to further tooth decay and when untreated, loss of the entire tooth.

Signs of Caries

  • Toothache
  • Sensitivity
  • Tooth staining
  • Halitosis (Bad breath)
  • Visible holes in your teeth
  • Sharp pain when eating hot or cold foods

Risk Factors

  • Poor diet/unhealthy habits
  • Having gingivitis/periodontitis
  • Frequent sugar consumption
  • Not enough fluoride exposure
  • Breastfeeding for too long (in children)
  • Age- Those who are older tend to be at a higher risk, but anyone can develop gingivitis
  • Aggressive hygiene- Brushing too hard, brushing with stiff bristles etc.
  • Osteoporosis- Those with this disease are at a higher risk for developing gingivitis
  • Dry mouth- Caused by a number of factors
  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Diabetes and other health conditions

5 Facts About Caries

  • Anyone can get a cavity
  • Cavities are a form of tooth decay
  • You won’t always know if you have a cavity
  • Tooth sensitivity does not indicate that you have cavities
  • Brushing and flossing are the best way to prevent cavities

There are no age limits for cavities.

Some people hold the idea that children are more likely to get them than adults, but this is a well-established myth. In fact, due to fluoride in drinking water and better preventative care, there has been a drop in cases of cavities in children.

At all ages, it is important to keep a thorough and consistent oral hygiene routine, as well as visiting the dentist regularly, twice annually.

The term “tooth decay” is a scary term, evoking images of yellowed, rotting, crooked teeth. But it takes a lot of time and letting problems get out of hand for teeth to get that way.

Tooth decay and cavities are not always visible either, even after the decay has progressed for years, if untreated. Even if you have already had a filling in your tooth, you can still get cavities in other parts of the same tooth without proper care.

Waiting for a toothache to occur before you go to the dentist is not a good way to handle your own oral health. In fact, you may not show any signs of a cavity before it has caused significant damage to your teeth.

Although tooth sensitivity may indicate a cavity, it may also just be hypersensitivity or gum recession that has exposed some of the teeth of your tooth or teeth. The best way to find out is to visit your dentist.

Brushing and flossing twice a day is the best way to prevent cavities. You can also use mouthwash and cavity-fighting toothpaste to help prevent cavities.

It is recommended to brush and floss twice a day especially when you just finish taking a meal.

Statistics shown that people who are brushing and flossing regularly every day were having fewer cavities compare to the ones who aren’t doing it on regular basis.

Ways To Get Rid Of Plaque And Tartar Naturally

Brushing & Flossing

The best way to fight plaque and tartar is to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily. You should also floss.

However, not everyone who brushes their teeth daily is brushing their teeth correctly. Brushing your teeth correctly allow you to remove the optimum amount of plaque, protecting your teeth and gums.

To brush your teeth correctly, you should hold your brush at a 45-degree angle.

You should also make sure to brush all surfaces of your upper and lower teeth, as well as your tongue and inner cheeks to fight plaque and keep your mouth clean. Also, make sure to floss as well, because flossing can reach plaque in place most toothbrushes cannot. But don’t press to hurt on the gums, as this will irritate them.

Baking Soda

Did you know you can clean your teeth with baking soda paste? Well, it has been a well established occasional DIY toothpaste substitute.

Baking soda is slightly abrasive, which is why it works well for removing plaque for your enamel as your brush.

You can easily create a usable baking soda paste with a bit of baking soda and coconut oil, but you shouldn’t use it every day, due to it’s more abrasive nature.

You should also make sure to rinse properly after using baking soda to clean your teeth, as you would with your everyday toothpaste.

Getting Your Vitamin C

There are so many foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C, besides oranges including strawberries, tomatoes, berries, bell peppers, limes, and lemons all contain lots of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is important for supporting oral health, as well as fighting plaque and tartar. You can even use fruit peels and fruit pastes mixed with baking soda to further fight plaque and improve whiteness.

One of the pastes we recommend is a strawberry paste. Strawberries contain malic acid as well as vitamin C, which is known for fighting enamel stains and bacteria.

You can mash strawberries up and combine with baking soda and coconut oil to a smooth paste. Brush normally for best results and use as an occasional treatment.

Oil Pulling

This simple practice has been used for hundreds of years to remove plaque buildup and keep plaque from forming.

Coconut oil is one of the best natural oils you can use for this process, that also includes vitamin and mineral benefits. Coconut oil is also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.

You can practice this method by taking a tablespoon of coconut oil and swishing it around in your mouth for 5-15 minutes. Try not to swallow the mixture and spit and rinse after you’re done.

This process works well as part of your daily routine before you eat as you make breakfast or while you shower. You can repeat the process daily for best results.


Guava fruit and leaves are excellent for preventing bacteria from forming as plaque on your teeth. Guava possesses anti-plaque agents that help stop and remove plaque in its tracks. In fact, guava fruit is both analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

Along with eating the fruit, there is another great way you can benefit from its properties. By taking the leaves, chewing them into a pulp, spitting them out and then rinsing, you can reduce inflammation and plaque build up with daily use.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is just a good as a mouthwash when it comes to anti-inflammatory and plaque fighting properties.

It is also antimicrobial which means that an effective method for killing harmful bacteria in the mouth.

You can extract aloe vera directly from the plant by slicing the leaf open extracting the pulp, or you can purchase organic aloe vera gel at most health food stores.

Once you have the aloe vera pulp, you should apply the paste to your teeth and wait for 10-15 minutes, then rinse your mouth. You should repeat this process twice daily for best results.

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are great for acting as scrubbing agents for the teeth. While you eat them, they will gently abrade and remove plaque from the surface of your enamel.

You can also brush with the seeds after you chewed them instead of swallowing to further take advantage of their abrasive nature.


Cloves have been used as a toothache remedy for centuries, and it has been proven to scientifically have many oral health benefits, including plaque fighting benefits.

It can be used in a paste as well to fight dental plaque.

You can mash and mix cloves and any oil, such as coconut oil, to make a paste to brush with. You can then apply the mixture to your teeth and wait for five minutes before spitting the mixture out and rinsing well.

Cloves are also good for helping to control staining as well, so you can benefit from them in many ways, improving your overall health.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is one of those multi-purpose items that most people have in their homes.

It’s useful for all kinds of household cleaning, cooking, and even fighting plaque and tartar. Vinegar is not only perfect for plaque fighting, but it’s also good at preventing the demineralization of enamel, protecting your teeth.

The best way to use vinegar for your teeth is to use 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of vinegar and mixing them with a half of cup of water to use as a mouthwash.

The taste is unpleasant, but the effects are worth it. The combination acts as a natural mouthwash alternative that promotes a healthier mouth and is used 1-3 times daily.

Vitamin Paste

It’s good to take your daily vitamins, but did you know you can brush with them too? You can take crushed vitamin C tablets and coconut oil and mix them together into a paste for brushing.

The paste will be slightly abrasive, and that will help to remove plaque along with vitamin C, also helping to improve oral health.

Rosemary Essential Oils

Rosemary essential oils are excellent for oral health because it has antibacterial properties.

It works to fight bacteria as a disinfectant, eradicating bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque, plaque-causing bacteria and treating other oral health issues.

To use rosemary to fight plaque, mix a few drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth without swallowing for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Then, you can brush your teeth as you would normally. You can use this treatment twice a day before you brush your teeth for best results.

Black Tea

Not only do black and green teas give you a boost at any time of day, but it can also help with oral health.

Black and green teas are antioxidizing, fighting both plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Both teas can also help to protect your enamel from decay and breakdown.

You can use either tea to your advantage by either brewing and drinking the tea, or using either black or green tea as a rinse before brushing. With black teas, you should always make sure to brush afterward to prevent any staining.

Using Tartar Control Toothpaste

Tartar control toothpaste is readily available at most grocery, health, and drug stores. There are many different kinds of tartar control toothpaste, but make sure to look for toothpaste containing zinc citrate, fluoride, and phosphates in particular. In particular, fluoride can strengthen and protect enamel so your teeth are better protected against plaque. It can also help to mineralize weakened areas of your teeth while fighting off bacteria that causes tartar.

Another way you can get the fluoride you need is by drinking tap water. Most public water systems add small amounts of fluoride to the water to improve overall dental and oral health for the general population.

Using An Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes have been known to remove plaque more efficiently than manual brushes.

Though you can get a great clean with a good manual brush, studies have shown that with an electric brush, you can get an equal or better clean in less time with less effort.

Make sure that when you’re choosing an electric brush to pick one that suits your needs and budget.

Try to narrow down a list of things you would like to find in the ideal brush and establish a budget to work within. Also, no matter if you use a manual or electric, you should aim to find a brush with soft and varied bristles.

Soft bristles are more effective in removing plaque while being gentle on teeth and varied bristles allow advanced cleaning between all crooks and crevices.

Using An Antiseptic Rinse

Using an antiseptic rinse is similar to using mouthwash, but it usually has more antibacterial and medicinal properties.

Often, these kinds of rinses contain both soothing agents and antibacterial agents.

One of the most common antibacterial agents found in antiseptic mouthwashes is peroxide. You can usually find these kinds of rinses at drug stores and pharmacies.

If you’d like to make your own, you can! A great way to DIY your own antibacterial rinse is to 3% peroxide solution along with some eucalyptus or any other non-toxic essential oils to use as a rinse for your mouth.

Take care not to swallow and to rinse thoroughly with water after use.