How to Remove Tartar & Plaque From Teeth?


Do you ever get a fuzzy feeling when your tongue brushes against your teeth? If your answer is yes, chances are you have plaque or tartar. Left untreated, these silent troublemakers can erode the enamel and even cause dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, making it important to keep your teeth free of plaque and tartar.

While preventive measures like a proper oral hygiene routine and regular dental check-ups can help, plaque and tartar can still sneak in. At SDG Dental, we can remove plaque and tartar from your teeth to give you a healthy and bright smile. 

What is Plaque?

Our mouths provide an excellent environment for different types of bacteria. While all these bacteria aren’t necessarily harmful, some, like plaque, can cause trouble. 

But what exactly is plaque? 

Dental plaque, or biofilm, is a sticky, colourless film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. It develops when the bacteria in your mouth feed on the carbohydrates found in food (especially sugary and starchy foods) to create an acid that interacts with saliva and leftover food particles. 

Left untreated, it can lead to a host of dental problems like dental erosion (breakdown of the tooth enamel), irritation of gums and tooth decay.

Signs of Plaque Buildup 

  • A fuzzy feeling on your teeth 
  • A pale yellow hue along the gum line
  • Bad breath 
  • Tender, swollen gums that bleed easily

What is Tartar?

Tartar, also known as calculus, is hardened dental plaque that can coat the surface of your teeth and even spread below the gumline. When plaque is not removed, it can combine with minerals in your saliva and turn into tartar in as little as 24 hours. So, if you avoid brushing or flossing your teeth just for one day, tartar can form on your teeth. 

Here’s the tricky part – while plaque can be removed with daily brushing and flossing, tartar can only be removed by a dentist. It can create a cycle of plaque and tartar formation as plaque can accumulate on the porous area formed by tartar and cause gum recession, staining and bleeding.  

Signs of Tartar Buildup

  • A yellow or brown hue on your teeth or gums 
  • A rough feeling on your teeth 
  • Red, irritated or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath from bacteria buildup

Ignoring these signs isn’t a good idea. Make a beeline for our dental clinic if you notice any of the above signs, and we will help remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. 

Signs of plaque and tartar

How to Prevent and Remove Plaque and Tartar Buildup? 

Prevention, as they say, is always better than cure. And the same goes for your teeth. Keeping your smile beautiful and healthy with a little TLC is much better than dealing with plaque and tartar on your teeth. 

While brushing and flossing can prevent buildup, that alone may not be enough. So, here are all the ways in which you can keep plaque and tartar at bay to prevent potential dental issues from arising.  

Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily

Brushing your teeth properly can save you from many dental problems and pain while even saving you money and time. When brushing our teeth, we know the drill – brush twice a day (in the morning and night) for two minutes each time. But are you brushing your teeth properly? Let’s refresh your memory:

  • Wet the toothbrush bristles and squeeze the toothpaste onto the brush. We recommend using fluoride toothpaste as it can strengthen the enamel and protect your teeth, and a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove plaque more effectively.
  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line. 
  • Move the toothbrush in small circular motions across all tooth surfaces.
  • Brush your gums to remove bacteria.
  • Avoid brushing too hard, as it can cause sensitivity or gum recession. 
  • Once you finish, avoid rinsing your mouth with water after spitting out the toothpaste. This allows the protective layer of fluoride to sit on your teeth longer. 

Floss Daily 

While brushing your teeth is a must, it can leave residual plaque in areas of your mouth that a toothbrush can’t reach, especially those tight spaces between teeth. That is where flossing comes in. 

  1. Take around 30-45cm of floss and wrap the ends around your middle fingers on each hand. 
  2. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers and gently guide it between your teeth. 
  3. Make a ‘C’ shape with the floss and rub it against the side of the tooth using a gentle up-and-down motion.  
  4. Move on to the next tooth, and make sure to use a new, clean section of floss. 

You may even use an interdental brush as they can effectively clean even the most hard-to-reach spaces in your teeth with their small heads and wire-bound bristles. 

Rinse Your Mouth 

Mouthwash isn’t just for achieving fresh breath. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also help reduce bacterial activity and plaque buildup in your mouth, as it can remove any leftover food particles even after brushing and flossing.

To rinse your mouth, pour the recommended amount of mouthwash and swish it around for the duration mentioned. Spit it out, but don’t rinse immediately afterwards. 

Visit the Dentist

Simply following a good oral hygiene routine at home may not be enough to remove plaque and tartar to keep your pearly whites bright and healthy. It should be combined with regular dental check-ups every 6 months. These check-ups allow us to remove any plaque you may have missed and detect any dental problems at their onset. 

If you come to us with plaque and tartar buildup, we will first assess your mouth comprehensively. Then, depending on the extent of buildup, we will either perform a regular cleaning or a scale and clean. A scale and clean, also known as deep cleaning, is done if you have extensive tartar buildup. Here’s how it works: 

  1. We will scrape away the plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums using a dental scaler. While this is a generally painless procedure, you may feel some pressure or a tickling sensation. We will also use a jet spray to wash away the debris.  
  2. Using a manual cleaner, we will remove plaque and tartar in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. 
  3. Finally, we will polish your teeth to remove any stains and restore brightness to your pearly whites.  

Preventing the formation of plaque and tartar on your teeth is in your hands, and all it takes is a little attention and effort. With proper care, you can not only remove plaque and tartar but also enjoy improved oral health for a happy smile. So, don’t forget to brush, floss, rinse, and visit the dentist every 6 months.