12 Bad Teeth Habits You Need to Stop Now

Bad habits die hard, right? But, these bad dental habits aren’t just annoying. They’re also bad for your teeth. If you do these actions regularly, you wear away the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities, breaking, and discoloration. Not to mention, a host of other problems. 

To avoid bad teeth and unnecessary trips to the dentist, you need to make these lifestyle changes immediately.

1. Biting Your Nails Is a Bad Habit

Nail-biting isn’t a common bad habit among adults. But, studies have shown that 60% of children and 45% of teenagers bite their fingernails. Which is a crucial time in kids’ lives when their permanent teeth grow, and their bite shapes.

You wouldn't think that nail-biting has much of an impact on the health of your teeth. But, regular nail-biting can cause our teeth to shift out of place. What’s worse, it can also potentially result in chips and cracks in the tooth and splinters in the enamel.

Luckily, nail-biting is a relatively easy bad habit to break. Try regularly trimming your nails and applying bitter-tasting nail polish to them. Since nail biting is a common stress reliever, finding another way to relieve stress such as drawing or writing can help people put a stop to this tooth-damaging habit.

2. Chewing On Toothpicks Is Bad For You

How can toothpicks be bad for your teeth? They’re supposed to clean your teeth, not damage them. Right? Actually, toothpicks are bad for your teeth in two different ways: improper use, and chewing on them.

Proper toothpick use can help remove food particles and debris from your teeth. But, if you're not careful, you could damage your tooth enamel, lacerate gum tissue, and even cause a broken tooth. Plus, bonding and veneers can chip or break with improper toothpick use. 

Additionally, aggressive toothpick use could damage the roots of the teeth, especially where the gums have pulled away from the teeth leaving root surfaces exposed. A broken splinter could also lodge itself in the gum, resulting in an infection if not removed. This is just another reason why you should avoid chewing on a toothpick.

To protect your teeth and gums against damage, choose other ways to remove food from your teeth such as dental floss or brushing. If you must use a toothpick, use it carefully so you don't aggravate the gums or cause abrasions on the teeth. And never chew on a toothpick aimlessly.

3. Chewing Ice Can Cause Bad Teeth

The cold temperature and the hardness of ice cubes can cause serious damage to your teeth. Curbing this bad habit is critical to maintaining strong and healthy teeth.

Interestingly, craving and chewing ice may be a sign of anemia. The reason for this craving is unclear, but it’s a common side effect of iron deficiency. Some people crave chewing on ice, paper, or other substances with no nutritional value as a way to relieve stress. 

However, it’s important to point out that chewing on anything unnecessarily is bad for your teeth.

If you have this bad habit, a visit with a physician may be in order to see if you have an iron deficiency. If it's just stress, find a different way to relieve it. Alternatively, simply adding a regular yoga practice to your routine could help you break this bad teeth habit.

4. Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth Is Bad

Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause a significant amount of pressure to the gums and jaw structure and can also cause fractures and micro-fractures in your teeth. (Micro-fractures are weakened areas in your teeth that put them at risk for further damage._

The main cause for teeth grinding is stress. You need to find a healthy way to relieve stress that isn’t bad for your teeth. Coloring, physical exercise, and meditation are excellent stress relievers.

Alternatively, you could also wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth. While it’s a temporary solution that doesn’t break the bad habit, at least it protects your teeth.

5. The Bad Habit of Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is one of the first bad habits we have in our lives. It’s a common stress reliever for babies and young children. While most of us abandon thumb sucking by age 8, many adults still turn to this bad habit in times of stress.

But, it’s dangerous to suck on your thumbs after your permanent teeth have come in. Even if you were born with perfectly aligned teeth, thumb sucking could cause changes to the alignment of your teeth and jaw. This can result in eating and breathing difficulties. And the only way to correct misaligned teeth is with braces.

The best way to avoid developing bad teeth from thumb sucking is to abandon this bad habit once and for all.

6. Biting Pencils Causes Bad Teeth

As a child gets older, he or she may substitute thumb sucking for other actions like chewing on pencils and other objects. This action could be a nervous tick or simply a way to handle stress. But, it could also be a symptom of anemia.

Holding an object such as a pen or pencil between your teeth can supply a significant amount of pressure on your teeth and gums. This can result in cracked or loose teeth and other dental issues.

Putting a stop to this bad habit before any damage is done can help your teeth stay healthy and strong for a very long time.  

7. Biting Into Lemons Can Be Bad For Your Teeth

Lemons are very healthy. They’re a great source of vitamin C, they have detoxifying benefits, and they improve alertness. But, biting into a lemon is a bad idea.

Lemons contain high levels of citric acid which can quickly wear away the enamel on your teeth. This can then result in greater tooth issues including cavities. Even sipping water with a lemon slice can damage the enamel to some degree.

If you crave that tartness and you must have that lemon fix, at least swish your mouth with water afterward. Don’t let the acidic taste of lemon linger on your teeth, as it does more damage.

8. Brushing Too Hard Is Also Bad For Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is a crucial part of proper dental care. You need to do it twice a day as part of your dental hygiene routine. But, brushing wrong is also bad for your teeth. 

If you brush too hard, you can also damage your enamel, irritate your gums, and cause cavities. This is why it’s crucial to always brush your teeth in the right manner. Brushing harder doesn’t mean that your teeth will be cleaner.

To help prevent damage caused by brushing your teeth too hard, choose a good toothbrush. One that’s firm enough to remove plaque but soft enough not to cause damage to the enamel. A soft-bristled toothbrush can also help prevent gum damage.

Better teeth brushing habits include brushing for at least two minutes, using a light touch, and holding the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.

9. Brushing Right After Eating Isn’t a Good Habit Either

Leftover food particles after eating can damage your teeth. And the best way to clean your teeth is to brush them. So, it’s logical to brush your teeth after eating, right? A lot of people think so, but the reality is quite different.

Turns out that brushing your teeth right after eating is a bad habit as well. Your teeth are still sensitive, and brushing can easily wear away your teeth’ enamel. Especially after breakfast with acidic foods like coffee or orange juice.

Wait 30 minutes to an hour after eating to brush your teeth. Better yet, brush your teeth before breakfast in the morning to take care of your dental hygiene in the safest way possible.

10. You Need to Stop Using Your Teeth as a Tool

People often use their teeth as tools for a variety of tasks. You can tear open a bag of potato chips, uncap a bottle of nail polish, straighten a bent fork tine, or rip a price tag off a piece of clothing. It might seem convenient at the time but it's a bad idea for the long-term health of your teeth. 

Using your teeth as tools can cause them to crack or chip, especially at the edges. Even if you brush and take care of your dental hygiene regularly, you can develop bad teeth from this. After all, you wouldn’t want a dental emergency to happen to you.

Putting a stop to this bad habit will help protect your teeth against preventable damage. A simple way to break this bad habit is to keep real tools handy. You’ll be less likely to resort to using your teeth instead.

11. Drinking Soda Is Bad For You and Your Teeth

Over half of the population of the United States drinks at least one can of soda a day. Soda is really bad for your health overall, and it’s also very bad for your teeth. Carbonated beverages tend to be very acidic. 

Drinking soda regularly can cause tooth decay around your gum line and weaken your enamel. There is also a significant amount of sugar in soda. One of the major contributors to cavities is too much sugar consumption. Finally, if losing your teeth isn’t scary enough for you, soda also stains your teeth. So, it’s also bad for your teeth aesthetically.

But, what about sugar-free soda? Drinking sugar-free or diet soda might give us some benefits such as lower calories, but it still contains harmful acids that damage the tooth enamel.

Your best bet when it comes to protecting your teeth and gums is to eliminate carbonated beverages altogether. The initial transition to healthier beverages might be a challenge. However, you’ll stop craving it or enjoying it if you do decide to drink it again eventually. 

Cutting soda from your diet won't just have dental health benefits. It will be good for the rest of your body as well.

12. Smoking Is the Ultimate Bad Habit for Teeth

Smoking is probably the most well-known bad habit. Smoking significantly increases your chance of developing cancer. It also contributes to wrinkles and signs of aging. But, one of the biggest negative effects of smoking happens in your dental health. After all, your teeth are the first to come into contact with the harmful ingredients of smoke.

Smoking also causes more dental plaque and accelerates the severity of gum disease. Other dental health issues include periodontal disease and bone loss. Smoking also causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. 

This makes people who smoke more susceptible to infections and hinders the body's ability to properly heal infected gums. Not to mention how smoking stains your teeth.

If you think smokeless tobacco is better, think again. Just one can of chewing tobacco delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes. The tobacco irritates the gum tissue, causing gum recession, root exposure, and eventually tooth decay. The exposed roots can cause difficulty in eating or drinking as they are more sensitive to hot and cold.

If that wasn’t bad enough, sometimes they add sugar to smokeless tobacco to improve flavor. Which means an even greater risk of tooth decay. Not to mention that tobacco often contains sand and grit which furthers the damage to the teeth and gums.

There are a million and one reasons why you should stop smoking or chewing tobacco. And if you care for your teeth, you’ll need to quit this bad habit immediately. It’s hard. No doubt. However, nicotine patches and therapy can go a long way in curbing your cravings.

Get Your Bad Teeth Fixed For Cheaper

Quitting these unhealthy habits is crucial to protect your teeth and oral health. If you keep doing them, you may experience a lot of pain, lose teeth, and develop life-threatening conditions. And even if you manage to break these bad habits, your teeth may need some care to go back to their healthy state.

Don’t wait to have your bad teeth fixed because of the cost. With a Carefree Dental Card, you can unlock huge savings on dental procedures at participating dentists. You can save between 15%-50%* per visit on your dental bill in most instances.

Ready to save on getting healthy teeth? Learn more when you sign up for a Carefree Dental Card today!


The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.


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How to Prevent Morning Breath

Morning breath is one of the more unpleasant issues most people have to deal with in their daily life. And knowing how to prevent morning breath can make your and your partner’s life much more pleasant.

We've all been there. You’re waking up to a beautiful morning. There’s a soft light seeping through the curtains and you hear the sound of songbirds chirping outside.

You roll over and gaze across the bed upon your beautiful loved one, who’s also just waking from a peaceful slumber. You lean over to plant a good morning kiss, and then it happens:

Bad breath of giant proportions assaults your olfactory senses. And it’s coming from your loved one's mouth.

How, you wonder, can such a beautiful, sweet person emit from their mouth a smell that could be considered a weapon in some countries?

What Is Morning Breath?

What you fail to realize is that you probably have morning breath too. And maybe it’s even worse than your partner’s! 

The truth is, everybody has morning breath. The medical term for bad breath is halitosis. It’s a common phenomenon. Luckily, it’s easy to treat and prevent. 

What Causes Morning Breath?

When you’re awake, talking, swallowing, and eating keep your mouth in motion. This prevents the bacteria in it from settling. But when you sleep, the bacteria in your mouth has an opportunity to "activate". 

Once things settle down, they attach to residual food particles left on your teeth and tongue. The bacteria set up camp and get working on destroying your teeth. Fast forward 8-10 hours and that very same bacteria now have an odor we call “morning breath”. 

Even though morning breath is identified as that bacteria, there are certain situations that make morning breath even worse.

Poor Oral Hygiene

The most common cause for morning breath is poor oral hygiene. And if you don’t brush your teeth properly, there are more bacteria in your mouth to do damage. However, brushing isn’t the only part of a good dental hygiene routine.

You also need to floss your teeth and scrape your tongue every day. Food particles between your teeth and on your tongue are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria.

If you don’t take care of your oral hygiene, you can develop gum disease (periodontal disease). One of the first signs of periodontal disease is bad breath. Left untreated, you can lose your teeth and develop life-threatening illnesses.

So, bad breath won’t be the only uncomfortable consequence of poor oral hygiene.

Dry Mouth

If you have amazing dental hygiene and still have bad morning breath, dry mouth is probably the culprit. Saliva plays an important role in washing away harmful bacteria. However, during the night, our salivary glands function lower. This can lead to a dry mouth, and therefore, more bacteria.

Some medications can also cause dry mouth. And these can make your morning breath worse. 

Another factor that you should consider is snoring. The act of breathing heavily while sleeping quickly dries your mouth out. So, you may want to look for ways to cut down on snoring. (Your partner’s nose and ears will thank you.)

Certain Foods

Sulphuric compounds often contribute to the bacteria of morning breath. Eating certain foods, such as onions or garlic can make your halitosis even worse. Fortunately, getting rid of onion breath isn’t a complicated process. But, you should probably do it before you go to bed.


Smoking affects your oral health significantly. It can cause dry mouth, periodontal disease, and even mouth cancer. Not to mention how bad the smell of cigarettes can be. All of these reasons combined make tobacco one of the worst causes for morning breath.


Gastrointestinal reflux (GERD) is a special situation that can make morning breath worse. People suffering from this condition can have their stomach acid wash back up their esophagus. 

How to Prevent Morning Breath

Now that we identified the most common causes of bad breath, we know how to fight it. Knowing how to prevent morning breath can save you and your partner from uncomfortable mornings.

Preventing morning breath is much better than treating it. Since the cause of morning breath is most likely a medical condition or a poor lifestyle decision, taking steps to prevent it can make you healthier as well. 

That said, preventing morning breath can be a big lifestyle change. Still, it needs to be a regular effort on your part, and keeping that up isn’t easy. But, it’s definitely worth it.

Brush Your Teeth Before Bed

Since poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of bad morning breath, the best thing you can do to prevent it is to brush your teeth before bed.

Ideally, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day: in the morning and the evening. Make flossing and scraping your tongue a part of your oral hygiene routine as well. And using mouthwash can also be beneficial.

Keep Water By Your Bed

Another great defense for a dry, bacteria-friendly mouth is a simple glass of water. Keeping your mouth moist will combat the spread of those smelly bacteria and clear out any loose pieces.

Not to mention how great that water tastes when your mouth is all dry from sleeping. 

Drink Less Alcohol

While you may be more likely to forget to brush your teeth after a few drinks, that's not the only reason to cut back on alcoholic drinks, especially at night. Alcohol can contribute to a dry mouth, creating that breeding ground for those pesky bacteria. 

If you're feeling like a few drinks, try hydrating with water at the same time. This may be a difficult step in preventing morning breath, but it will benefit your health long term.

How to Treat Morning Breath

Now you know how to prevent morning breath. And while these three steps work wonders on the smell of your mouth instantly, you may want to freshen your breath in the morning regardless.

These treatments to bad breath are quick. But without treating the underlying cause, they’re useless long-term.

Brush Your Teeth

Again, the minty freshness of the toothpaste as you brush your teeth will surely eradicate the bad smell. Taking care of your oral hygiene in the morning is just as beneficial for your health. But if you get up and brush your teeth before your partner wakes up, you can prevent them from experiencing your morning breath as well.

Breath Mints

A quicker, but less hygienic solution is to take a breath mint. Just make sure you choose the sugar-free kind. You don’t want to cause more damage to your teeth.

Sugar-Free Chewing Gums

While sugar-free chewing gum isn’t as useful as brushing your teeth, it’s a little bit better than a breath mint. The act of chewing can activate your salivary glands, producing the saliva needed to wash the bacteria away.

Eat or Drink Something

Washing down the bacteria that caused the odor can get rid of the morning breath itself. Worst case, your morning breath will disappear once you have breakfast or a cup of coffee.

Still, it’s not a very good way to treat halitosis if it comes from bad oral hygiene...

Do You Still Have Morning Breath Despite Prevention?

Having bad morning breath despite doing everything to prevent it is a bad sign. Halitosis is often a sign of a serious underlying condition. So, if your morning breath doesn’t disappear within a few weeks of taking preventive steps, you should speak to a dentist.

A lot of people avoid going to the dentist simply because of the cost. But with a Carefree Dental Card, you won’t have to choose between your wallet and your dental health.

Our dental discount plan can unlock huge savings at participating dentists. Save big on your oral examination when you become a Carefree Dental Card member!


The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.


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How to Fix a Chipped Tooth

Although tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, your teeth arent’ indestructible. One wrong move can break a significant part of your tooth. This is what we call a chipped tooth. Here’s what you need to do if you have a chipped tooth to fix it quickly and painlessly.

Causes for Chipped Teeth

There are a lot of reasons why your teeth get chipped. The most common causes for a chipped tooth are:

  • Biting on something hard (like a pit, candy, or ice)
  • Playing contact sports without a mouthguard
  • Falls or car accidents
  • Grinding your teeth in your sleep

Is a Chipped Tooth Painful?

How painful your chipped tooth is depends on how badly it broke. If the chip is small, it doesn’t damage the nerves in your tooth. But, if the fracture separates the nerves in your tooth, it can be very painful.

What to Do If You Have a Chipped Tooth

If you accidentally chip your tooth, don’t panic. Keeping calm is crucial when you have a dental emergency. Seek out a dentist immediately. They can fix your chipped tooth easily.

If your chipped tooth hurts, you can take pain relief medication such as acetaminophen. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can also help ease the pain.

Sometimes, the chipped tooth’s remains can be dangerous. The sharp or jagged edge can cut your tongue or the inside of your mouth. To prevent any further pain, cover your chipped tooth with sugarless chewing gum or wax paraffin. This should keep you safe from your own chompers until you get to the dentist.

If you can, avoid eating after chipping your tooth. But if you need to eat, stick to soft foods that you don’t need to chew much. 

How Your Dentist Fixes Your Chipped Tooth

When you get to the dentist, they’ll evaluate the severity of your chipped tooth. Here’s what you can expect during your dental visit for a broken tooth. 

Dental Filling or Bonding

Smaller chips to the tooth are quicker to fix. This makes them a cheaper option too, not to mention much less painful. This is because you’re not dealing with nerve damage.

Your dentist can use dental fillings to make your tooth whole again. These fillings also remove any sharp edges. Don’t worry, if your fillings are exposed. Your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin. This kind of bonding fixes your tooth and restores your perfect smile.


Veneers are a full layer of covering for your damaged tooth. First, your dentist will remove a small amount of the surface of the tooth. Then, they’ll create a mold to get the correct shape for the veneer. Finally, they’ll apply the veneer.

After that, your chipped tooth will be as good as new.

Dental Cap or Crown

If the damage to the tooth is severe, you’ll need a bit more work done. Your dentist may file your tooth until there’s enough space to add a dental cap or crown. These coverings are made from resin, ceramic, metal, or porcelain fused to metal.

Root Canal

Sometimes a chipped tooth fractures all the way to the pulp. It’s severe damage that requires root canal treatment. But, root canals aren’t as scary as they sound. 

During this procedure, your dentist removes the decayed pulp, cleans it out, and then seals the tooth with a crown. While it’s not painless, it’s still better than leaving a severely chipped tooth.

Which Tooth Is Most at Risk?

Any weakened tooth is at risk of chipping. But, statistically, the second lower molar chips the most. That’s because of the pressure you put on it when you chew. 

You’ll also need to be careful with any fillings you have. These aren’t as tough as real enamel. As a result, you may chip the filling again.

Risk Factors For Chipped Teeth

Some people’s teeth are more prone to chipping than others. How easily your teeth chip depends on your lifestyle and genetics. Understanding the risk factors can help you prevent chipping your tooth:

  • Lack of calcium: Calcium is the main component in strong and healthy teeth. If you don’t have enough, your teeth get softer and more susceptible to chips, cracks, and breaks.
  • Tooth decay: Cavities eat away at your enamel. It’s crucial to turn to a dentist if you have cavities.
  • Grinding your teeth: Tooth grinding or bruxism can wear down the enamel of your teeth over time.
  • Eating acidic foods: Fruit juices, coffee, and spicy foods break down your enamel quicker.
  • Acid reflux or heartburn: These digestive problems can bring stomach acid up to your mouth, which can weaken your teeth.
  • Age: Your teeth inevitably wear down over time. If you’re over 50, pay special attention to cracks and chips in your teeth.

Don’t Overpay Fixing Your Chipped Tooth

Even if you do everything to protect your teeth, accidents happen. When your tooth chips, don’t hesitate. Seek out a dentist immediately. Leaving a chipped tooth, especially if the damage is severe, can lead to complications. You could even lose your tooth entirely.

A lot of people hesitate going to the dentist because it isn’t cheap. Luckily, Carefree Dental can get you huge discounts on dental procedures at participating dentists.

Simply show your discount card to a participating dentist and you could potentially save 15% - 50%* per visit on dental procedures in most instances. Ready to keep more money in your wallet after the dentist? Sign up for a Carefree Dental Card today!


The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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19 Amazing Home Remedies to Remove Plaque Naturally


Use these amazing home remedies to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Keep your teeth and mouth healthy with all-natural scrubs and cleansing solutions.

What Are Plaque and Tartar?

People often use the terms ‘plaque’ and ‘tartar’ interchangeably. Although they’re very similar, they’re not the same thing. Plaque is the bacteria that causes decay and cavities. And tartar on your teeth is an accumulation of stains, saliva, food, dirt, and grime. Tartar makes it easier for the plaque to take a hold of teeth.

When you see yellow or white patches on your teeth, it’s tartar. It’s quite tough and sticks fast to your enamel. That’s why a dentist should remove it. If left untreated, tartar build-ups can lead to bad breath and a general staining of the teeth. 

Luckily, you can prevent this tartar buildup by removing the plaque from your teeth regularly. Even better, you don’t need a dentist for that. You can easily remove the plaque from your teeth at home. Check out these awesome home remedies to remove plaque effectively.

Getting Rid of Plaque and Tartar at Home

Home remedies should never be a substitute for proper dental treatment. But, there are some methods that can effectively remove plaque.

1. Brush Carefully and Regularly

You need to brush your teeth properly and regularly to remove plaque. It’s a great way to take care of your oral hygiene and prevent tartar buildup.

You should brush your teeth after every meal. It’s best to wait half an hour after eating first. You need to brush for three minutes. While you brush, be sure to use an even amount of pressure on the toothbrush as you brush each tooth.

2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste

There’s a good reason why commercial toothpaste recipes almost always contain fluoride. This substance strengthens the tooth enamel and lessens the risk of decay from acidic foods and drinks. 

In fact, it actually helps decayed teeth to heal and regenerate. The only problem is that this process occurs too slowly for brushing alone to prevent cavities. You also need to eat a healthy diet and steer clear of sugary snacks.

3. Buy Tartar Control Toothpaste

If you’re prone to developing tartar patches, there’s a variety of tartar control toothpaste out there. You can even use this if you’re worried about plaque. 

Tartar control toothpaste contains ingredients that battle against crusty build-ups in the mouth. In some cases, they also contain triclosan. This is an antibiotic substance that can kill off a number of bacteria strains.

4. Clean with Baking Soda

Using baking soda occasionally is a great way to remove plaque at home. It’s slightly abrasive. As a result, it pries and files nasty stuff from the surface of the enamel. 

All you need to do is take one tablespoon of baking soda and add a pinch of salt. Then, dampen a toothbrush and dip it into the mixture. Afterward, clean your teeth as you usually would and rinse thoroughly.

5. Mix Aloe Vera and Glycerine

Aloe vera has a lot of benefits. But did you know that it can also keep your teeth free from plaque?

Take a cup of water, combine it with half a cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Then, add a healthy dose of lemon essential oil and four teaspoons of vegetable glycerine. Now, scrub your teeth with the formula and wake up to a shiny set of gnashers in the morning.

6. Rub Your Teeth with an Orange Peel

If you don’t fancy rubbing vegetable glycerine on your teeth, you might prefer something a little simpler. You can rub orange peel directly onto your teeth. This will help to fight tartar-building microorganisms on the enamel. 

You can also mash up the peel and apply it to the stained areas. Leave to rest and then rinse. This can noticeably whiten the teeth.

7. Eat Lots of Fruit and Vegetables

Eating fruit and vegetables isn’t just great for your teeth. It’s also essential for your whole body. Plus, eating fruits and vegetables can also remove plaque naturally. 

Munch on some apples, celery sticks, carrots, and peppers to get your teeth looking strong and healthy in no time.  

8. Munch on Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds can be an active dental scrub. It gently removes plaque and tartar without damaging teeth. 

Just pop a handful of sesame seeds into your mouth. Chew them up, but do not swallow them. Take a dry toothbrush and brush your teeth while the seeds are still in your mouth. They will act as a scrub and delicately scour the surface of stained teeth.

9. Enjoy Plenty of Figs

There are surprisingly many home remedies to remove plaque that involve fruit. Did you know figs are great at fighting bacteria and other nasties on teeth? 

You just have to eat three or four figs all at the same time. Chew them up slowly and deliberately. Give them as much exposure to the gums and teeth as possible. 

The chewing will kickstart the salivary glands. This is great to remove plaque because saliva contains natural antibacterial properties.

10. Switch to an Electric Brush

Manual vs. electric toothbrush? The dental debate of the century. Ultimately, neither is better or worse, it’s a personal choice you have to make.

However, if you’re prone to plaque and tartar buildup while using manual toothbrushes, try switching to an electric brush. You may be surprised how well it removes plaque and tartar.

11. Always Remember to Floss

No matter how well you brush your teeth, you still need to floss. As dental industry guidelines state, both are required for a high-quality dental care routine. While brushing is great for getting at the surface of tooth enamel, a lot of debris and dirt accumulate in the corners. You simply cannot reach this with a regular brush.

12. Rinse with an Antiseptic Cleanser

You can also control tartar and plaque build-up with a hydrogen peroxide-based mouthwash or cleanser. If you can’t find this type of product in your local pharmacy, it is pretty easy to knock a batch together yourself. 

Take one tablespoon of antiseptic mouthwash and add three tablespoons of (3% only) hydrogen peroxide solution. You must make sure that the substance you use is of a suitable concentration or you could damage your teeth.

13. Invest in a Dental Scraping Device

A dental scraper (or pick) is essentially the same kind of device that your dentist uses to coax the tartar from your teeth during intensive cleaning. You can buy these in pharmacies and drugstores. 

They are long and thin, with a hooked metal end. A dental scraper can look a little daunting, but scraping should never be painful. Take your pick, stand in a well-lit room with a mirror, and gently scrape at the white patches of tartar. 

But, be very careful! You’re scraping inside your mouth with a sharp object. Try to avoid any injuries, and don’t scrape the enamel off your teeth. You may end up causing more harm than good.

14. Make a Super Vitamin Paste

Vitamin C heavy fruits are great for removing plaque at home. Mash together oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries into a thick paste. Apply it to tartar and plaque build-ups. Leave to rest for five minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Vitamin C will help to remove bacteria and keep your mouth healthy.

15. Feast on Spicy Cuisines

If you’re a fan of Indian or Mexican food, you’re in luck. According to dental scientists, spicy cuisines are great for reducing plaque and tartar levels in the mouth. They do this by increasing your production of saliva (which is great against plaque). Saliva washes over teeth and cleanses them of nasty stuff.

16. Gargle with a Vinegar Solution

This isn’t the most pleasant method to remove plaque at home, but it’s very effective. It’s also natural and guaranteed not to harm teeth.

Take a solution of two tablespoons of vinegar, one tablespoon of salt, and four ounces of water. Now, gargle with this vinegar solution. Rinse and repeat every 2-3 days for maximum efficiency.

17. Grind Up Clove Spice

Clove is actually a historic remedy for toothaches. People have been using it to relieve dental pain for centuries. Today, you can find it in every supermarket. It’s a very common ingredient in Indian cuisine, so you should have no trouble finding ground cloves at the store.

Mix the ground spice with a little water, until it forms a paste. Apply this paste directly to the stained areas and leave it to rest. Rinse thoroughly.

18. Identify the Biggest Stains

There is a really easy and clever way to check if you have a plaque buildup on your teeth. Take some food coloring – just the regular stuff found in supermarkets – and add it to a teaspoon of water.

You can use this mini mixture as a plaque highlighting solution. However, you should first rub a little petroleum jelly on your lips first to avoid stains. Swish the food coloring in your mouth for a bit and then spit it out. You should see light patches of color on your teeth. That’s where the most stubborn plaque accumulations are. Concentrate brushing here to remove it.

19. Indulge in Cheesy Snacks

Snacking on aged cheeses, such as Swiss or cheddar, is a great way to clean your teeth naturally. They neutralize the acids that accumulate right after meals. These acids contribute to plaque build-ups the most. 

According to scientists, there is an element in aged cheese that acts as a buffering agent and a barrier for plaque. You can also find the same element in peanuts and sesame seeds.  

5 Tips to Prevent Plaque

While plaque is relatively easy to get rid of with these home remedies, it can get out of hand fast. And if you leave plaque on your teeth, it’ll turn into hard tartar. An alternative is to prevent plaque buildup in the first place. 

Do these five things to avoid plaque build-ups altogether. Prevention is always cheaper than the cure when it comes to dental health. If you can stop plaque and tartar from building up in the first place, you’ll have a much better chance of keeping all of your teeth healthy.

1. Keep Up with Dental Appointments

It’s your job to keep up with check-ups and appointments. Your dentist can’t make you attend. But you need to go regularly. Once you miss several consecutive dates, you risk being taken off the list at your practice.

2. Always Use a Soft Bristled Brush

Keep an eye on how hard you’re brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth with a lot of pressure won’t clean them faster or better. On the contrary. Tough brushing damages enamel, which results in a host of other problems. Be reasonably gentle and use a soft-bristled brush for comfort.

3. Cut Back On Your Smoking Habit

Unfortunately, there is no cheat or secret way around this one. The reality is that smoking is really bad for your oral health. You will always be at a much higher risk of gum disease and tooth infection while you smoke. It will also lead to accelerated tartar build-up in and around the gum line.

4. Drink Plenty of Fresh Water

There are few things as natural and as healthy as water. You should drink around eight glasses of it every day anyway. (So, this tip should really only be a reminder.) If you drink plenty of water, it will wash away plaque, dirt, and debris before it gets a chance to take a hold on the surface of tooth enamel.

5. Consult with Your Dental Specialist

If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your teeth, you need to ask your dentist. They’re the most qualified person to provide an answer or a solution. 

Turn to your dentist with any problem you have with confidence. They’re not there to give you a lecture or yell at you. They only want to offer you the finest in dental care and treatment available.

If Plaque Builds Up, Tartar Hurts Your Teeth

Plaque and tartar both contribute to the development of decay and cavities. Tartar is porous. As a result, plaque can build up inside and around it. It then calcifies around the plaque and bacteria. This traps all of the nasty stuff close to tooth enamel. Once there, it can feast on and wear away teeth with harmful acids.

It’s crucial to have tartar removed because it greatly increases the risk of decay and gum disease. If left untreated, chronic gingivitis and degenerative tooth loss may be the outcome. 

For patients with underlying health conditions, the consequences can be extremely serious. Dental scientists now know that poor oral health can contribute to the development of diabetes and heart disease. These are potentially life-threatening conditions.

Dental Cleaning Is the Most Effective Way to Remove Plaque

If plaque or tartar builds up on your teeth, the most effective way to remove it is a dental cleaning. While home remedies can do wonders for your oral health, the most reliable method is still your dentist.

A lot of people turn to home remedies because a trip to the dentist is too expensive. But with such potential dangers, you really can’t risk plaque and tartar buildup happening. 

Luckily, there’s a way to get the dental cleaning you need at a fraction of the cost. All you need to do is sign up for a Carefree Dental Card

The Carefree Dental Card is a dental discount card that can help you save 15-50%, per visit, in most instances. Simply sign up for the card, show it to a participating dentist, and save your money!

Don’t let plaque and tartar ruin your smile and your health. Start your dental health off with a discount using the Carefree Dental Card.


The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed doctor or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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