Plaque left on your teeth can form tartar, a hard yellowish mineral deposit also called calculus. Once you have calculus on your teeth, cleaning them becomes more difficult and your gums may become swollen or bleed easily. Removing calculus usually requires a visit to the dentist. Plaque prevention should be the goal. Keeping your teeth plaque-free will not only give you a beautiful smile, it will also help reduce your chances of gum disease and tooth decay.
The old stand-by baking soda removes plaque from your teeth, advises MotherNature.com. It works. Simply pour a bit of baking soda into a small bowl, dip your dampened toothbrush in it and use it to scrub away plaque. Alternatively, you may mix a pinch of salt into a tablespoon of baking soda and brush with this mixture to remove plaque.
Dental floss removes hard-to-reach plaque between your teeth and above the gum line. Consider going back to silk, which was the earliest floss material, according to the Green Eco Services website, and is a biodegradable material, unlike the nylon or Teflon floss available in most stores. Pass the silk thread between your teeth with a gentle motion back and forth. When the thread touches your gum line curve it in a "C" against one tooth and slide it between the tooth and gum until you feel slight resistance. Then curve the thread around the other tooth in the same manner.
Identify existing plaque on your teeth with the help of food coloring. First apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on your lips to avoid staining them. Then take a teaspoon of food coloring and swish it around in your mouth. Spit it out, rinse with clear water and look for plaque on your teeth. Remove the plaque by brushing. In the future, pay special attention to cleaning the areas where you observed plaque formations.
Eating less than an ounce of aged cheese, such as Swiss or cheddar, before a meal can help neutralize acids that affect plaque production. The older and smellier the cheese, the more effective it tends to be. A component in aged cheese seems to act as a buffering agent, MotherNature.com explains. The Student Care Center at the University of Chicago concurs, also noting that a small amount of raw peanuts will have the same effect, neutralizing mouth acids and re-mineralizing teeth.