The answer is no. Tartar or calculus is a hardened deposit that builds up on teeth over time, and it can only be safely removed by a professional dental cleaning. Attempting to remove tartar at home can cause damage to the tooth enamel and gums, leading to sensitivity and tooth decay.
At-home methods for preventing tartar buildup include brushing twice daily and flossing once daily. Brushing helps to get rid of food particles that may become lodged in between your teeth, while flossing removes bacteria from these same areas. Additionally, regular visits with your dentist are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. During these visits, your dentist will check for early signs of tartar buildup and perform a professional cleaning to remove it.
One thing in advance: you should refrain from self-treatment and confide in your dentist. This can react to further circumstances and guarantee a perfect treatment. A layman can not.
- Tartar removal at the dentist is usually painless.
- For this, he uses one of the 3 options: Scaler, curettes & ultrasonic devices.
- To remove tartar yourself is not possible without professional tools.
If you are afraid of the dentist or possible pain during treatment, you can, therefore, rest assured.
I’ll give you additional tips on how to properly prevent tartar and explain how useful home remedies are to remove tartar yourself.
What is tartar and what causes it?
Tartar is a hard deposit on the teeth caused by the mineralization of plaque.
- When you brush your teeth, you give your teeth important minerals that can be used to remineralize your enamel – harden it.
- Unfortunately, the same thing happens to plaque that you overlooked while brushing your teeth. It hardens gradually by the minerals until it is hard.
Then you can no longer remove it with normal toothbrushing.
In short, tartar is plaque that has become hard.
To prevent tartar as well as possible, you should make life difficult for the plaque-causing bacteria. Brush your teeth therefore always thoroughly – especially in the area of the tooth necks.
Note: If you want to learn more about tartar, you will find everything important in the article on tartar.
Can I remove the tartar myself?
Unfortunately, I must advise you in advance against amateurish self-attempts. Leave professional tartar removal to your dentist. This can work faster, more efficiently and more painlessly.
- Tartar can no longer be removed by common methods (brushing, rinsing) because of its hardening.
- It must be worked off with special tools. Your dentist is well equipped for this and has all the important instruments at hand.
Better focus on preventing tartar. How that succeeds, I explain further down in the text. Likewise, I show you the pros and cons of home remedies with which you can supposedly remove tartar yourself.
Remove tartar at the dentist
The dentist removes tartar thoroughly and painlessly. He also cares for the teeth after cleaning and detects possible dental problems.
Have your tartar removed by your dentist. The treatment is routine for your dentist and painless for you.
Tartar removal is usually painless.
1. Cleaning Methods
Dentists have 3 special tools to choose from for tartar removal:
The scaler is probably the most well-known tool – shaped like a hook, the dentist can use it to quickly and easily scrape off foreign bodies and also tartar, and examine your teeth more closely for their condition.
Many often experience minor bleeding when the dentist removes tartar with his scaler.
- But this is not because “the dentist is too rough.”
- The tartar has nestled very tightly against the irritated gums.
There are different scalers for different applications.
While you could theoretically purchase a scaler yourself and start removing tartar at home in front of the mirror. However, you should be aware that this is not simply scraping off food debris, as you would with a toothpick.
Curettes are most simply described as scrapers.
The application is similar to that of a cucumber peeler, for example. This allows for targeted removal of tissue (in this case, tartar).
Special ultrasonic devices such as a metal pen drive ultrasonic waves through the tartar, loosening it from the tooth.
This method is absolutely painless and especially suitable for very anxious people. Only heat is generated by the vibrations, this is dissipated by continuous rinsing with water.
Your dentist will know exactly where and how to remove your tartar.
2. polishing the cleaned teeth
Having your tartar removed by your dentist has other benefits.
After your dentist removes the tartar, he or she polishes the teeth for optimal protection.
After removal, a rough surface remains where new tartar can quickly crystallize. To prevent this, your dentist will polish and smooth this rough surface with a special paste.
3. Recognize & Treat gum recession
Often unnoticed due to developed tartar, periodontitis has additionally developed – popularly known as gum recession.
This loosens your teeth. Tartar often holds the teeth together, and periodontitis can thus go unnoticed.
Tartar is a cause of periodontal disease (receding gums). Therefore, removal is doubly worthwhile.
You don’t have these options at home. What you can do, however, is prevention: The development of tartar is well understood and can be very easily prevented or delayed by making sure you take good care of your teeth.
Prevent tartar: Here’s how to do it right!
The following tips can help you prevent tartar and periodontal disease, reducing your necessary dental visits as much as possible.
Tip 1: Don’t apply too much pressure when brushing your teeth
When brushing their teeth, many people often tend to apply more pressure than is actually necessary. This puts a lot of stress on the gums
- Bleeding and possibly periodontitis are often the consequences. Modern electric toothbrushes therefore now have a pressure sensor built in as standard.
- This warns you if the pressure is too firm with an LED light or even stops operation for a short time.
Both top-of-the-line models like the Sonicare DiamondClean and Oral-B Genius 10000, as well as many mid-range models like the ProtectiveClean 4500, have this feature to help you develop a healthy toothbrushing technique.
Too firm pressure leads to periodontitis, which is the slow recession of the gums. So, in the worst case scenario, your gums may no longer provide enough stability to your teeth, and perhaps only existing tartar may bridge those gaps.
It is therefore also important to have tartar removed regularly so that you are always informed about the actual condition of your teeth.
Tip 2: Clean the interdental spaces thoroughly
Tartar develops primarily where plaque settles and saliva collects.
For many people, this means that tartar forms primarily in the spaces between teeth and then spreads outward.
Don’t neglect the spaces between your teeth, because tartar forms here very quickly.
Therefore, also use agents for targeted cleaning of these interdental spaces. Mouthwashes, dental floss, interdental brushes and oral irrigators are best suited to keep your interdental spaces perfectly clean.
Note: Read the article properly clean interdental spaces.
Tip 3: Use at least 1x per year a professional teeth cleaning
Your dentist gets your teeth clean like no one else. With state-of-the-art equipment, he can tackle any dirt, tartar or problem
Health insurance companies usually cover the cost of 1 checkup per year at the dentist. There you can then opt for a professional cleaning.
This will help you with prevention and your dental health will always remain at the highest level.
No matter how frequently and thoroughly you brush your teeth, it ends up affecting just about all of us. We can delay problems like tooth decay, tartar, and periodontal disease, but we can’t make them completely impossible.
In such cases, it’s worth rounding out your dental cleaning with a professional dental procedure.
This way, you can be sure that you will always have a perfect smile. And if another problem or risk creeps in, your dentist will spot it immediately and can take early action.
Note: For everything you need to know about the cost, the process and more, check out the article on professional teeth cleaning.
If you follow these tips and care for your teeth thoroughly, problems such as tartar and periodontitis should stay away from you for a long time. Then, if they do arise, your dentist will identify them early and eliminate them before they can cause damage.
Remove tartar yourself with home remedies?
Some people always look for home remedies to deal with various problems themselves
Beware of some home remedies: These will not remove tartar, nor are they healthy for your teeth.
When it comes to tartar, baking soda, lemon juice and other substances that attack tooth enamel are often described as miracle cures
But as explained above, tartar is a very hard substance that closely resembles your tooth enamel in structure and composition.
- Substances that can erode tartar by simple contact are in all likelihood aggressive enough to also erode healthy enamel – so you should avoid such methods.
- Of course, it does not hurt to use home remedies such as baking soda in small quantities for prevention, for example, to rinse with water or as an addition to toothpaste.
However, you should not expect to remove hardened tartar with a few drops of lemon juice if your dentist has to use tools that resemble picks to do so.
Conclusion: removing tartar yourself is not recommended
Because tartar is basically plaque that has hardened, it can only be effectively removed with a professional cleaning at your dentist’s office
- Tartar removal at the dentist is painless.
- You can not thoroughly remove tartar yourself.
- Home remedies such as baking soda are also not suitable.
So rather focus on healthy dental care and prevent the formation of tartar.
You can do this with the following tips:
- Brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly.
- Use good electric toothbrushes and toothpastes.
- Don’t forget the spaces between your teeth.
- Visit the dentist regularly (check-up).
This will save you a lot of trouble afterwards.