Home remedies to completely remove tartar & other mythical creatures!

So I recently read an article on goodstuffbuzz.com about home remedies that claim to completely remove tartar. I could not contain my LOL’ing or WTF’s during reading this article…let me explain why!

First, let me tell you about that pesky thing called tartar aka calculus aka yuckiness. Tartar or calculus is a hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to their decay as well as the breakdown of soft tissue and bone. IMG_0038Even with perfect home care, everyone has bacteria in their mouths. This bacteria mixes with proteins and food byproducts  to form a sticky layer on the teeth called plaque. Plaque carries bacteria that can damage the teeth and gums. If not removed the bacteria continues to attach to plaque and will calcify into tartar or calculus. Once this calcification occurs ladies and gentleman, you CANNOT remove it by simply brushing or flossing or using these magic methods that the above article claims. To remove these hardened deposits you would visit a friendly hygienist, such as myself, and we will remove it for you (you’re welcome)! This requires ‘scrapping’ as those deposits can be stubborn, but it will make the teeth and gum tissue healthier and prevent any further (if any) bone loss from occurring. So it is so important to get professional dental cleanings!!

Ok, so here is a breakdown of some points in the article- I will be using the exact same pictures/pictures of wording that they used:


This picture shows no tartar on the teeth…this mint oil and lemon concoction may (notice how I say MAY) help with whitening, but will not remove tartar. Also, lemon is NOT great for your teeth…Please do not dip your toothbrush into lemon juice and rub it onto your teeth, as it is very acidic. Acidity causes tooth enamel to wear away, which can result in sensitivity and discoloration. Anything acidic should be done in moderation or avoided all together!

IMG_0029Coconut oil pulling has been a trend now for awhile, for detoxification and as a natural whitener (results can vary). It will not breakdown or remove calcified tartar! As for those dark brown spots in the picture…those appear to be cavities folks…removing the decay and replacing with a filling is the only fix for that!

Oranges are also high in the acidity. So again, not great for the teeth and anything acidic should be done in moderation and not intentionally rubbed onto the teeth!

This just sounds like a pain in the butt! Sounds like using a toothbrush and toothpaste may be easier don’t cha think!? Plus, these little seeds will then get caught in between the teeth causing you to have to floss…so on the other hand maybe do this!

IMG_0030This whole article stated “According to Tapoos”. Tapoos is an entertainment site…this is what their ‘About Us’ page states: “If you like your online entertainment to be a heady cocktail of viral content, crazy listicles, fun quizzes, trending videos and the latest celebrity gossip you’ve come to the right place! Add into the mix reviews of the latest movies, tales of strength and inspiration and real life stories that will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and you can see why Tapoos is fast becoming a leading go to site for discerning web users.” Dear Tapoos…stick to the entertainment reporting and leave dental/medical advice to the professionals please. The quote about tartar is also FALSE…my friends that is what plaque is. Plaque is bacteria that gathers around the lines of our gums (as well on the rest of the surfaces of the teeth). It’s at the bottom of our teeth (all surfaces again). It’s dangerous and unhygienic – it also eventually leads to gum disease which can cause a lot of other serious problems (1 point Tapoos, only 1…actually I take that back because you thought you were talking about tartar!).

Again, plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing as well as using antibacterial mouth washes. The rinses that the article mentions could also aid in plaque removal, but will NOT remove the plaque once it has calcified into tartar. This article clearly had their definitions of plaque and tartar confused.

  • DO brush, floss and use  mouth wash to help remove plaque and to keep your mouth as healthy as possible at home.
  • DO get a professional cleaning and exam regularly.
  • DO NOT count on any magical concoction to remove tartar or calculus that has developed on your teeth!


Happy Brushing!


PSA: How to Answer “Do You Floss?”

Hi All!

So, today’s topic is on how to answer that pesky little question “Do you floss?”

First, let me fill you in on why we ask you that question. Is it because we really don’t know….NO, we already have the general sense whether you do or don’t as we’re cleaning your teeth. Are we thinking that maybe you really do, but may not be doing it correctly…Yes (there is a wrong way & right way to floss!). Are we testing you…Yes, we want to see if you’re being honest with us and if not then that’s showing us that you may not care to floss and want to lie so we won’t give you the spiel (guess what…I’m going to give you the spiel anyway!).

I ALWAYS ask, because you know what they say about assuming! I’ve had patients who have had plaque (yucky bacteria) in between every tooth and are bleeding like I just stabbed them with a prison shank (p.s. we don’t stab people or use prison shanks! We clean your teeth and if there’s a lot on there then we have to get it off….it’s our job, you’re welcome!). {Rant over}. When I ask these people that infamous “Do you floss” question some of them don’t just say “YES” quickly (in hopes that maybe I’ll believe that they just had some cherry kool-aid?) but say they really have been trying and give me details about what they do and their genuine want to do better!


That leads me into then asking them “How do you floss….do you go straight up between the teeth and then back out?” Usually the answer here is “Yes”. Now this is the improper way to floss! When you are flossing in between the teeth the goal is to remove the plaque from each tooth surface (see how I said EACH). You are in between two teeth so you want to move the floss up and down against one tooth (you’ll be able to get that floss below the gum line, removing so much more!) and then you bring the floss to go up and down the second tooth! (Think of it as making a C-shape around each tooth!). Quickly going up and down between the teeth only removes some plaque leaving everything on the surfaces of the individual teeth that you didn’t get against and everything below the gum lines of each of them!

Then I have those patients who are just completely honest and say “No” (or my personal favorite “Yea, twice a year when you do it”….btw not my personal favorite, that my friends was sarcasm). I have also had a couple people who have said…”Oh well the News (or google) told me that flossing isn’t important”…lies, just lies! I am thinking those people in these ‘studies’ that came out a few months back were not flossing properly or know anything about plaque/calculus and the damage that it can cause to not only the teeth, but to the gum tissue as well as the bone!

Here is the real deal about plaque/calculus:

Plaque is a loose form of bacteria that you are able to remove by brushing and flossing. If not removed that loose plaque will crystallize into calculus (not the math) or tartar (not the sauce) which you are unable to remove with these methods and only hygienists can with our ‘prison shanks’. This bacteria not only can cause cavities on the teeth, but can actually start eating away at your gum tissue, as well as the bone that supports your teeth in place (this is called periodontal disease). So for the health of your teeth and mouth in general, brushing at least twice a day AND flossing is SUPER important and nothing takes the place of getting that floss up and down on each surface of the two teeth you are in between!

I know it’s time consuming (a couple minutes…bummer), but really try to get it into your daily routine! And when we ask you that question “Do you floss?” Please just be HONEST with us! If you do not, that’s ok, but we want to educate you and let you know why it is important because many people do not realize just how destructive that plaque/calculus is! If you do floss, GREAT…we may have to tweak your technique or up the amount of times you do it (once a day at least is ideal!). If you still do not want to floss after the spiel, then that’s fine, but I know that I have given you the information and informed you of the consequences by you not doing so!

We hygienists are here to help you, we are here to educate you, we are here to improve your overall oral health so that you can keep those chompers healthy and as long as possible!



Sunday Funday

Yay for Sunday Funday, also known as Football Sunday during the Fall/Winter months in our house! What has my Sunday looked like this far, you ask? (ok, no one asked, but I’m going to tell you anyway). I got up early with Bear (our crazy 1.5 yr old golden retriever) and we went for our morning walk around the block. I then made some yummy tea and watched some ‘Duck Dynasty’ on demand…that’s right, I love that show! Zach (hubby) got up, I made him coffee & he made me breakfast (good trade-off, right!). We proceeded to have a lazy day by plopping ourselves on our futon, watching some of ‘The Cable Guy’ (blah), Zach took Mr. Bear for a walk to the park, we caught up on ‘Timeless’ (so good!) and now we are watching ‘Pacific Rim’ (& blogging…me, not Zach) until Football comes on! We are really gearing up for the PATRIOTS game later on…sorry not sorry (that’s the line…right!?). We both had busy days yesterday (I made bread from scratch…that’s right…I got my Sara Lee on!) so this lazy day is much needed!

Well any who, since it’s Sunday Funday, I thought I’d keep it light and share some of my favorite dental humor pictures:

Basic Math:39b90dbbe683d1a2b4dba8f9fd2648c2

Wisdom Teeth: not always that wise…6d6a502fab2bd5d8f890e5dbf4388adf

This just makes me chuckle:images

Love this song…love when my patients floss more!images-1


Here’s to hoping that Monday morning will be like the 1st picture and not the 2nd!


Hope you all have a great Sunday Funday/Football Sunday! If your teams are in either playoff game today…good luck! If not….next year!