August 21st, 2009
I know it's shallow, especially since my teeth are far from perfect, but one of the very first things I notice about a person is their teeth. If someone smiles at me and there's something akin to that little protruding mouth thing from the Alien movies hiding behind their lips, I pass immediate judgment. I know, I'm a d**k. But you know what? Everyone has things about themselves they don't like. One of mine just happens to be my disgust of plaque-loaded teeth.
If you don't know what plaque is, it's that nasty, slimy, yellowish sludge that builds up on your teeth. To be totally honest, it's actually more disgusting than it sounds. Tooth plaque is built-up masses of germs, germ carcasses, and food bits clinging to your teeth and chillin' inside your mouth. Pretty nasty. If plague isn't removed on a regular basis, it becomes tartar (a.k.a. calculus). Tartar is basically the same thing, except it's super solidified. It solidifies quickly too. It can begin to harden in as little as 24-48 hours and can be rock hard in about a week and a half to two weeks. So, it makes sense that by removing plaque, you can avoid tartar buildup. Plaque removal is actually one of the easiest things you can do for yourself. All it takes is a little diligence and a plaque remover or three. If you want to learn how to get rid of plaque, simply follow the advice given in this article and consider purchasing something to help you remove plaque.
How to Remove Plaque
Brush your toofuses like there's no tomorrow. Here I go, pointing out the obvious again, but seriously, many people don't brush their teeth properly, don't do it often enough, and don't do it for long enough. When brushing your teeth you should always use small circular motions and make sure to get everywhere evenly. Spend as much time on the back teeth as you do on the front. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least four minutes at a time. Smaller toothbrushes are better, as it's easier to get them into hard-to-reach places. You should choose a soft toothbrush with rounded bristles.
Might as well floss 'em while you're at it. Since plaque-causing bacteria don't just grow on the flat surfaces of your teeth, flossing is an important method for getting rid of plaque. Flossing should be done at least once a day, preferably twice. Use whatever floss you want. It simply doesn't matter. Floss is floss. Just make sure to get between all of your teeth: top, bottom, front, and back. Be careful of your gums when flossing. If you force the floss up too quickly, you can quite easily damage your gums and make yourself bleed.
Pick up some disclosing tablets. Using disclosing tablets will most definitely help you to get rid of plaque. They work by showing you, or your kids, exactly where the plaque is that was missed when brushing by staining it red and making it highly visible. If you know exactly where it is, it's easier to target. It also helps to show you where the hard-to-reach spots are so that you'll remember not to forget those areas in the future. Disclosing tablets are totally safe and available at darn near any drugstore you walk into.
Rinse your dirty mouth out. In attempting to get rid of plaque, rinsing is perhaps the simplest thing you can do. You should rinse out your mouth, swishing the water around as forcefully as you can, both before and after brushing your teeth. Rinsing will get rid of plaque and food bits that were dislodged from brushing but are still in your mouth. For this same reason, you should also rinse after flossing. If eating out, don't be afraid to rinse your mouth out in the restaurant's bathroom after a meal. This simple act will dislodge food from your teeth and give the bacteria in your mouth less to eat.
Get thee to a dentistry. No matter how strict an oral hygiene regimen you keep, plaque and tartar are going to build up. Once plaque turns to tartar, it's pretty much impossible to get rid of yourself. For this reason, you should see the dentist for a good teeth cleaning at least two times a year. You only get two sets of teeth, and once that second set is gone, it's gone. No more chances. So take care good of them. I'm not bad mouthing dentures, but wouldn't it be preferable to keep your teeth in your mouth when you work so hard to clean them?
Tools for Plaque Removal
Just because you already have everything you need to remove plaque doesn't mean that you don't want more. There's some darn nice tools available on the market to make the process much easier as well as more fun. The first thing I have to recommend to you is a Waterpik. A Waterpik is a very nice alternative to flossing. It's actually supposed to be up to 93% more effective and causes less bleeding than flossing. It's especially good at removing plaque from teeth with braces on them, and all it uses is is a pulsating jet of water. Since we're talking about electric goodies, there's also a number of electric toothbrushes available today. Brands such as Sonicare, Interplak, and Rota-dent are quite effective and readily available through a number of online vendors. Don't like all the crazy technology? Let's not forget about those old-school plaque removers like toothpicks, dental picks, and brush picks. Whatever your level of oral technological advancement, I'm willing to bet there's a number of different things you could easily add to your plaque-removing routine that could significantly reduce the amount of yellow slime on your teeth.