How to Remove Tartar from Teeth Without a Dentist – DIY Methods for Plaque Removal

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Dentists and dental hygienists typically remove tartar by scraping it off with a scaler.

Remove Tartar

But what if you can’t afford the treatment? One of the best ways to remove tartar from your teeth without a dentist is by brushing with baking soda.

Baking soda works because it’s abrasive but not hard enough to damage your enamel.

Even though scheduling a dental visit is the best option for tartar removal, there’s still plenty you can do at home.

Below, you’ll learn how to remove tartar without a dentist, including ways to prevent it from forming in the first place.

Understanding Tartar Buildup

When you eat, oral bacteria break down the food particles and combine with saliva to form a sticky film on your teeth known as plaque. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar. Tartar is the hard yellowish-brown substance that coats your teeth and gum line.

The cause of tartar is poor oral hygiene.

When you brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss once daily, plaque will not have enough time to harden into tartar.

Tartar is also called dental calculus. It is more difficult to remove than plaque because it is hardened.

Consequences of Untreated Tartar

Untreated tartar can cause gum disease.

Over time, tartar can grow under the gum line, causing the gum to recede from the teeth. This may result in shaky teeth and consequent tooth loss. This is an advanced-stage gum disease known as periodontitis.

Untreated tartar can also lead to other health issues. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, gum disease due to tartar may increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Aside from the diseases, tartar can make you feel too self-conscious to smile in public. The sight isn’t very pleasant. So, you ideally want to prevent tartar from forming in the first place.

Preventing Tartar Buildup

Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily is the best prevention against plaque and tartar. The American Dental Association recommends it.

Brushing Flossing

But let’s face it: hardly anyone likes to floss. Apart from the pain, it can be time-consuming. Yet, daily flossing is essential if you must prevent plaque from forming in areas of the teeth a brush can’t reach.

Practice flossing and go easy so you don’t hurt yourself. Once you get used to it, it becomes second nature.

By flossing and brushing the teeth regularly, you give plaque no room to lurk. A dentist can also help you remove any plaque you missed when brushing and flossing.

Choose the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every three months. If you use a worn toothbrush, you can’t scrub enough plaque away.

An electric toothbrush can also remove dental plaque more efficiently.

When choosing toothpaste, look for one with about 1350-1500 ppm fluoride. If you can get one with pyrophosphates, that’s a plus. Fluoride and pyrophosphates help kill plaque-causing bacteria and prevent calcium phosphate deposits from forming.

Better still, go for tartar removal toothpaste. These products are specially formulated with chemicals that bind to plaque as you brush your teeth.

Incorporating mouthwash into your oral care routine can also help stop plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. Not just any mouthwash will do; get a recommendation for an antiseptic mouthwash from a dentist or dental hygienist.

DIY Methods for Removing Tartar at Home

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Paste

Brushing with baking soda is a safe and effective way to remove tartar buildup at home. Also called sodium bicarbonate, baking soda works by softening tartar. It can also reverse the acidity in your mouth that supports plaque formation.

Being mildly abrasive but not as hard as tooth enamel, baking soda can safely scrub tartar without damaging your teeth. It’s so effective that some toothpaste companies now add baking soda as an active ingredient.

A 2017 review found baking soda toothpaste to be more effective at reducing plaque than traditional toothpaste products.

Be careful, though, and never brush too hard. For safety reasons, use only a tiny amount of baking soda or combine it with toothpaste.

Small amounts of highly diluted hydrogen peroxide can also help kill oral bacteria. You can form a paste by mixing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, then brush your teeth with it.

Oil Pulling for Tartar Removal

Oil pulling is another way to remove plaque and debris from teeth and gums. Hold an edible oil in your mouth and swish it for 10 to 20 minutes. As you swish, the oil dislodges plaque and food particles hiding between your teeth.

Oil Pulling for Tartar Removal

Coconut oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil are excellent options for oil pulling. Due to their rich antioxidants and antimicrobial properties, they can help promote dental health.

Using a Dental Pick or Scaler at Home

You can remove tartar from teeth without dentist intervention using a dental pick or scaler. But before we recommend this, you must know that it comes with some risks.

Dental picks and scalers are precision equipment used by dentists to remove tartar. These professionals have years of training and experience, which you likely lack.

Wielding the equipment improperly may cause gum injury, enamel damage, or even infection.

However, you can consider a dental pick if the cost-benefit (avoiding expensive dental treatment) outweighs the risk for you. Ensure that you read the manual and, if possible, seek professional advice.

Natural Remedies for Tartar and Plaque Removal

Orange Skin for Tartar Removal

Orange peels are full of vitamin C, and one thing vitamin C can do is dissolve tartar. Hence, orange peels are a great way to clean your teeth naturally without harsh scrubbing.

Simply rub the inside of the orange skin on your gums and teeth. Concentrate on areas of the teeth where there’s tartar.

Another way to get rid of plaque is to crush orange peels, mix it with water, and brush your teeth with the mixture. For optimal results, repeat this 2-3 times a week.

You can whiten your teeth at home using orange peels.

Aloe Vera Gel for Reducing Tartar

Aloe vera has strong antibacterial properties that can help remove tartar and plaque. If you already have gum disease, aloe vera can also offer relief due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Aloe Vera Gel for Reducing Tartar

To remove tartar, brush your teeth with aloe vera gel mixed with baking soda. Otherwise, rub it on the surface of the teeth.

Make the paste by mixing:

  • 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel
    4 Teaspoons of glycerin
    5 tablespoons of baking soda
    1 cup of water.

 Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, due to its acetic acid content, can effectively reduce plaque and tartar by breaking down the coating through demineralization.

Aside from that, apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties that kill the oral bacteria responsible for bad breath. Gargle with it to remove tartar quickly.

You want to be careful here. Apple cider vinegar is highly active and may damage your enamel after much use. So, less is more.

Chewing on Sesame Seeds

Chewing sesame seeds is a natural Ayurvedic practice and can help remove plaque and tartar formation on your teeth.

Chewing on Sesame Seeds

Chew a handful of sesame seeds into a mushy consistency. Then, use your toothbrush to wash your teeth and gums with it. Rinse with warm water after about two minutes.

Lifestyle Changes for Preventing Tartar

After getting rid of tartar, you can make some lifestyle changes to prevent it from forming again.

Firstly, prioritize oral hygiene more than ever.

Sugary foods create an environment conducive for oral bacteria to thrive. To prevent tartar buildup on your teeth, you’ll want to cut down on snacks. And after meals, drink enough water to flush down every residue from your mouth.

But there is only so much you can do at home. With regular dental checkups, you can catch dental issues before they become a concern.

Things to Avoid for Preventing Tartar Buildup

  • Avoid smoking as tobacco contributes to tartar buildup
  • Limit sugary foods and snacks
  • Reduce soda intake
  • Avoid using hard-bristled brushes
  • Avoid using worn-out brushes

Maintaining a Healthy Smile

Tartar can ruin the beauty of your smile. You become more self-conscious and, therefore, smile less. So, your oral care routine is not something you want to be careless with.

If you still can’t remove tartar after trying our DIY remedies or you don’t have the patience, see a dental professional.

Professional dental cleanings can help you deal with tartar in one shot.


You can remove tartar from teeth without a dentist using baking soda, oil pulling, aloe vera, orange peels, or a dental pick at home.

But remember, prevention is better than cure. So, maintaining dental hygiene for the long term is key. And consider seeking dental care for issues you can’t resolve DIY.


Can You Scrape Tartar off Your Own Teeth?

You can scrape tartar from your teeth without a dentist using a scaler or dental pick. Natural remedies like baking soda and orange peels can also help.

Can Salt and Water Remove Tartar?

While salt and water can help prevent plaque buildup, it cannot effectively remove tartar. Use saltwater rinse to remove plaque before it hardens into tartar.

How Can I Remove Tartar with Dental Pick?

Hold the dental pick at 45 degrees to the tooth. Gently scrub the tartar off, taking care not to damage the enamel and gums.

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