How to remove plaque / tartar at home without a dentist?

Update in January 11, 2024

You’ve heard that tartar’s bad for your oral health. you may want to know how to remove tartar at home to make your dentist visits more pleasant. Here’s the skinny on the tartar that can cause problems without the right treatment. Don’t try to figure out how to remove tartar on your own via the internet. You may hurt your gums, damage tooth enamel, or worse. Rather, visit dentist.

What is tartar?

What is tartar

The term tartar is often used interchangeably with calculus as they both refer to the hardened, mineralised form of plaque. The first step of tartar formation is the build-up of plaque. Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria that forms on our teeth in response to leftover sugars and residue from food. Do you ever notice a fuzzy coating on your teeth after you have forgotten to brush? That’s plaque! Lucky for us, it is easily removed with a good brush. Problems start to arise when plaque is not removed as it will mineralise, harden, and adhere to our teeth, forming a yellow-brown crystalline substance known as tartar.

Why is tartar harmful?

Tartar build up has the potential to cause a number of serious oral health conditions. The porous structure of tartar makes it the perfect surface for more plaque to accumulate. The bacteria present in plaque release acids that break down the tooth structure and if left for long enough can create cavities.

The presence of tartar not only affects the teeth, but also the gums. Tartar tends to first form between the teeth and on the gumlines. The presence of tartar, plaque, and bacteria irritates the gums resulting in inflammation and swelling, also known as gingivitis. If you notice that your gums bleed during or after brushing and flossing this could be an indication that your gums are inflamed and unhappy with their environment. If not treated, gingivitis has the potential to lead to periodontitis, a serious infection of the gums that can cause them to pull away from the teeth.

Aside from damaging the teeth, tartar is the cause of cosmetic concern for many people. Due to its yellow brown colour, tartar often has the appearance of generalised tooth staining. People are frequently surprised by what their teeth look like after all the tartar has been removed during a scale and clean.

Home Remedies to Help with Plaque and TarTar Removal

Plaque forms on everyone’s teeth but there are some home remedies you can use to avoid an excess amount of build-up. These actions are not to be taken in place of going to the dentist since no one can get rid of plaque-like your dentist can. A dentist has the proper knowledge and tools to chip away tartar and plaque without damaging your tooth enamel.



 one of the simplest answers to most of the dental hygiene issues is brushing. Brushing in the correct manner i.e. using the proper technique- vertical strokes from gums to teeth will help remove the extra particles stuck in and around the teeth. Specially designed interdental brushes can also be used if any stubborn particles are stuck in between the teeth. They have flexible bristles that can easily reach into the contact areas and fish out the stuck food particles rendering the area clean.

Dental Floss

Dental Floss

Dental floss can remove extra particles stuck in between the teeth dental floss is a very good substitute to a toothpick.



 Mouthwash after every meal is a must in order to get rid of small unwanted particles deep inside your gums where your brush can’t reach. In order to get the most out of the mouthwash, you should rinse for 30 seconds before you spit out. That’s the minimum time required for the ingredients to work.

Munching on sesame seeds

Pop a handful of sesame seeds into your mouth chew them but do not swallow them, brush on them directly they will act as a scrub and remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth.

Brush with Baking Soda

Brush with Baking Soda

Next time you brush your teeth, try using baking soda instead of toothpaste. Of course, you will need to use regular toothpaste as well but completing a round of brushing with baking soda can help kill bacteria. This natural cleaner should be left on your teeth for about 15 minutes after your normal brushing routine to really help nip the plaque away. Guess what? Baking soda even helps whiten your teeth and freshens your breath!

Orange Peel Paste

Do you want another form of toothpaste to use in addition to regular paste? Try taking the inside of an orange peel and mixing it with water to create a paste. Not only does it smell lovely but is a great way to get rid of tartar. This everyday ingredient is commonly found in your kitchen, making it is easy to access. No point wasting all the goodness from the leftovers of your morning fresh-squeezed orange juice. Mmmm…tastes good to boot!

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Gliding some aloe vera gel along your teeth can help remove tartar. Aloe vera is a plant with many antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can assist in healing burns and reducing constipation. You can keep this plant around for every part of your body, not just your oral cavity.

Back to your teeth…how do you use aloe vera for tartar removal? Make a paste with a teaspoon of aloe vera gel, 4 teaspoons of glycerin, lemon, essential oil, 5 tablespoons of baking soda, and a cup of water. Repeat this scrub on your teeth daily until the tartar is gone. Always test a small portion before using it to ensure you don’t have any negative reactions to the ingredients.

Get Spicy!

Get Spicy!

Chow down on some spicy peppers or drink up a cayenne infused smoothie. Your saliva production will improve from spicy food consumption, cleaning your gums and teeth. Chilli powder is a spicy ingredient that is known for protecting your bones due to the amount of vitamin A in it.

Why You Shouldn’t Attempt To Remove Tartar At Home?

Plaque on your teeth is easy to get rid of yourself. You just have to brush your teeth and floss well. Even your natural saliva helps wash away some of the plaque. However, if you don’t remove all the plaque effectively, it quickly hardens into tartar, which is impervious to brushing and flossing.

Regular dental cleansings, however, are great at fully cleaning teeth, including removing tartar. Despite this, many patients are tempted to try and remove their tartar themselves. If you’ve thought about it, consider the following and learn why it’s a terrible idea.

You May Damage Your Enamel

To remove tartar at home, you’ll need to buy a kit that has the same tools the dental hygienist uses to clean your teeth, including sharp scrapers. To be honest, with the right tools, you can probably remove some tartar. However, the tartar isn’t the only thing you may remove.

Your tooth’s enamel is under that tartar, and even though it is the hardest substance in the human body, it can be easily scratched with sharp tartar removal tools. The bacteria in your mouth will thank you for these scratches by easily penetrating the dentin, since they now don’t have to break through the enamel themselves.

Once bacteria gets to the dentin, decay begins as the acid from the bacteria destroys the tooth tissue. If the tooth is already severely damaged, or the decay is left untreated, the bacteria may reach the pulp. This lead to a tooth abscess, which can be incredibly painful and expensive to treat.

You May Irritate Your Gums

To get the tartar along the gum-line, you may have to actually scrape under your gum-line, which can be incredibly painful. When your dentist performs this, it is known as scaling and root planing, and they don’t just remove the tartar. The root is also smoothed so it’s harder for bacteria to cling to.

This treatment can cause a lot of pain and bleeding, which is why your dentist often numbs the area before cleaning begins. You won’t be able to numb your gums at home, so you’ll feel every poke. This alone is painful, but if you already have tender gums from gum disease, expect a lot of pain and blood.

Even if your gums are healthy, the irritation of improperly cleaning the teeth can lead to gum recession because the gums become too irritated. They pull away from the teeth, which exposes more of your teeth, making them look longer and exposing the unprotected root.

You May Cause Infection

Finally, you shouldn’t try to remove tartar at home because you can actually cause an infection. This is largely due to the fact that you aren’t trained to properly remove tartar. At the dentist office, the hygienist removes all the tartar, but if you do it at home, you may miss some. Worse, you may actually push tartar under the gum-line.

In some cases, this can lead to a tooth infection. Tartar and bacteria can easily reach the tooth’s pulp through the tooth’s root, which has no enamel. In addition to the risk of tooth infection, you can also increase your risk of gum disease due to the fact that the tartar and bacteria irritate the gums.

Gum disease symptoms vary from mild to major. Some patients may only have mild bleeding or tenderness when brushing and flossing. On the other hand, more advanced cases can cause major tooth and bone loss.

Visiting Your Dentist for tartar removal

Visiting Your Dentist for tartar removal

Once tartar forms, talk to your dentist about how to remove tartar. It’s not something to try at home. Depending on the severity of the condition, there are several care options. They include:

  • Dental cleaning with a trained hygienist who uses several specialty tools for the task
  • Scaling and root planingfor severe tartar buildup below the gum line
  • Gingivitis examination that helps determine whether you need additional care to protect oral health
  • Gum disease treatment, which assists with remedies for restoring your health
  • Oral surgery that removes periodontal abscesses

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