How to remove tartar from your teeth without a dentist

Find out more about tartar and the top tips for removing it from our teeth.


by Lorna White |

We all know the importance of brushing, flossing and rinsing our teeth with mouthwash twice a day, so when we notice any build up of tartar on our teeth it can be quite worrying.

Tatar is plaque build up on your teeth which has hardened, also known as dental calculus. If you're concerned and want to know the best way to get rid of tartar on your teeth without having to take a trip to the dentist, we've put together some helpful tips and advice to leave your teeth feeling and looking sparkling!

What is tartar?

No matter how well you take care of your teeth, we all have lots of bacteria in our mouths. Once this bacteria mixes with our food and the proteins in our food, it can form into what we know as plaque. Plaque is sticky, and it easily coats your teeth.

Plaque carries bacteria which can damage our tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Luckily, if you regularly remove the plaque, you can avoid this happening. However, if this plaque is not removed, it can develop and harden into tartar.

Also known as calculus, it can form above and below the gum line and can lead to gum disease and receding gums.

Signs you may have tartar build up include:

• The surface of your teeth feels rough and brushing your teeth seems to make no improvement.

• Yellow or tan colour at the base of the teeth (this is if you have tartar above the gum line).

• Raised swelling on the gum, which may bleed.

• Brown or black colour below the gum line.

How to remove tartar

If you've already got a build up of tartar on your teeth, you should visit your dentist to get it removed professionally with their tools. Once the plaque has hardened, it's very hard to remove, which is why it's best to see a professional.

Can you remove tartar at home without a dentist?


If you're not keen on the dentists, it can be tempting to try and remove the tartar yourself at home with home remedies. From white vinegar to baking soda, there are a number of home remedies that people may suggest, but the best option is to see a professional dentist or hygienist.

Not only do they train for years to learn how to clean the teeth safely and properly, they also have all the correct tools and devices to clean off the tartar without damaging the teeth further.

How to prevent tartar build up

If you find the plaque has not yet hardened, try the below in order to get rid of it and avoid it building up in the future, so your smile stays sparkly white:

• Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft bristle toothbrush

Floss once a day. This is important to reach gaps between your teeth that your toothbrush won’t be able to reach. If you don’t get on with normal floss try an alternative tool, like interdental brushes.

• Use a fluoride mouthwash after brushing your teeth. This will remove any bacteria build up that your toothbrush misses.

Related: Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?

Best products to prevent tartar build up

Oral-B Pro 2 2500 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush

ORAL-B Power Pro 2 2500 CrossAction Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

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Although a good quality manual brush will do the job, an electric toothbrush will clean those hard to reach areas much easier and more thoroughly.

Corsodyl Gum Treatment Mouthwash Chlorhexidine 0.2% Mint

Corsodyl Gum Treatment Mouthwash Chlorhexidine 0.2% Mint

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Corsodyl Mouthwash Alcohol Free is an intensive treatment (used for no longer than 2-4) for early signs of gum disease so is great for using if you have a buildup of tartar before you head to the dentists.

Listerine Total Care Mouthwash 1L

Listerine Total Care Mouthwash 1L

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The formula kills up to 97 per cent of plaque and bad breath causing germs left behind after brushing.

Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Floss 40m

Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Floss 40m

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This gives you a minty cool taste when you floss!

Oral-B Pro-Expert Deep Clean Toothpaste 75ml

Oral-B Pro-Expert Deep Clean Toothpaste 75ml

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This toothpaste is brilliant for deep clean and fresh feeling mouth every morning and night.

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