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Oral health

Calculus Bridge or Tartar? Causes, Symptoms and How to Get Rid of it!

They sure are handy when you smile, so keep your teeth around a while. – Dr. Seuss

We all have been told the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth twice a day, over and over again. Yet, we come across dental issues like Calculus Bridge or Tartar, Plaque, Tooth Decay, Gum Diseases etc. which is a result of the bacteria present in our mouths, even after brushing. In this article, we will be particularly talking about Calculus Bridge, which is popularly known as Tartar.

1. What is Calculus Bridge or Tartar?

To understand what a Calculus Bridge or Tartar is, we first need to know what Plaque is. Plaque is the sticky layer that is formed between the gum line and the teeth. This is caused due to the bacteria that resides in the mouth as a result of the combination of saliva and food. This Sticky layer is called Plaque.

Calculus is the calcified or the hardened form of Plaque. If the Plaque is neglected, it calcifies or hardens and forms Calculus Bridge or Tartar. Calculus can occur even in a few weeks.  If left untreated, calculus can lead to a number of teeth and gum related issues.

2. How big of a problem is Calculus?

The plaque itself is quite bad, but if the Plaque converts into a Calculus; then you have a bigger problem in hand. Calculus is the dead bacteria, which ends up mineralizing. Calculus is made up of magnesium phosphate, calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate. Calculus leads to further growth of Plaque.

This can worsen it, and can lead to problems such as gum disease, receding gums, bad breath and can cause a cavity. It can cause inflammation or swelling in the gums. It also makes flossing and brushing more difficult, which will make it even worse.

Calculus build-up also doesn’t have a very pleasant appeal. Due to the absorptive properties, Calculus causes staining especially when you consume any caffeinated drinks. If not treated carefully, it can lead to more serious problems like Gingivitis and Periodontitis.

3. How to identify Calculus Bridge or Tartar?

Have you noticed that you’ve been trying to hide a smile? If you have Calculus build-up, it becomes quite obvious. Calculus has a brownish or yellowish colour and can be seen deposited clearly between your gum line and teeth. It can make your gums appear swollen and cause it to bleed easily.

Usually, tartar formation occurs on the interior surface of the lower incisors or on the exterior of the upper molars. It occurs commonly in these areas due to the proximity to the salivary glands. If these areas feel rough and appear discoloured, it could most probably be calculus. However, a visit to the dentist would be the best option to know for sure, and how to go about it. Neglect of Tartar can lead to more serious problems.

4. Tips to control Calculus Build-up

  • The best option is to nip it in the bud; which means, maintaining proper oral hygiene and brushing at least twice a day thoroughly, without missing any area and thus not allowing it to become an area for breeding bacteria. 
  • Don’t forget to floss. Flossing is the best way to prevent the initial build-up of Plaque in-between your teeth. If there is no Plaque, there is no chance of Tartar.
  • A dental pick is also a great option to scrap out any slight build-up of tartar.
  • Another great tip is to use an electric toothbrush rather than a conventional one. They help to clean your teeth better and more efficiently and thus reduces the chance of Calculus.
  • Using mouthwash to rinse your mouth will help to get rid of the bacteria and helps prevent Plaque which further leads to Calculus.
  • Using a Calculus control toothpaste that contains triclosan and fluoride helps kill the bacteria and takes care of the damage done to the teeth enamel. Toothpaste with zinc citrate is also said to have properties that prevent plaque and calculus.  
  • Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and clean-ups done in order to clean every nook and corner, where the toothbrush cannot reach easily.
  • Watch what you eat. Eating sugary and carbohydrate dense food makes it easier for bacteria to multiply faster and thus leads to plaque and calculus. So prevent over-indulging in such food.
  • Caffeinated and carbonated drinks, and tobacco are one of the major cause of tartar. So stay away from them as much as possible.
  • Rinse your mouth after every meal is also a good practice to avoid plaque and tartar.

5. How to remove Calculus from Teeth?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, if you haven’t been very successful in preventing calculus formation, there’s still nothing to worry about. The best option would be to go see your dentist, since the tartar build-up is usually very hard. Your dentist will make use of a process called scaling, to remove the plaque from your teeth

Your dentist might use curettes and scalers to remove calculus. He might also make use of dental irrigation and ultrasonic vibration in the process of cleaning. This dental procedure of removing calculus is known as ‘full mouth debridement’.

Generally, the removal of calculus takes only a small amount of time. However, in some cases where the build-up is extreme, it might take more than one sitting. The procedure of calculus removal is usually not painful. To save all this hassle, the best approach would be to pay a regular visit to your dentist.

Once the Calculus is removed, your mouth will feel much fresher and a drastic decrease in bad breath. Calculus removal will lower the chances of further build-up and thus provides safety from developing other severe gum and teeth problems.

6. Natural ways to prevent and remove Calculus

Though the safest and easiest way to get calculus removed is by visiting a dentist, there are also a number of natural remedies that help in the prevention and removal of calculus. Here are a few:

Baking Soda: Using baking soda, is one of the most popular and efficient ways of removing calculus naturally. All you have to do is wet your toothbrush and dip it in baking soda and gently scrub on an area of calculus build-up. Baking Soda can be used together with salt or toothpaste, which makes it even more effective.

Baking soda is available in almost every kitchen, and so becomes a quick option for a home remedy for tartar problem. Just make sure you do not use too much baking soda as it can damage the enamel.

Vinegar: Vinegar is also another natural ingredient that can help prevent and reduce tartar and is easily accessible. I bet it won’t taste pleasant, but it is very effective. The Acetic Acid present in vinegar helps in reducing the mineralization that is developed due to calculus build-up.

All you have to do is dilute 2 teaspoons of vinegar in a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash couple of times a day.

Oil Pulling: Oil Pulling or Oil Swishing is also a very efficient way to avoid calculus. Swishing the oil in your mouth for a few minutes helps cleanse your mouth. Coconut Oil especially is rich in antioxidants and helps reduce inflammation. It prevents tooth decay, and since coconut oil has antibacterial properties, it gets rid of the bacteria in your mouth. It also helps retain the teeth enamel, thus making your teeth less prone to plaque and calculus. 

The Process of oil pulling is quite simple. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for a few minutes. Once you are done swishing, spit it out. Oil pulling can be done using other oils too, like olive oil or almond oil. However, using virgin coconut oil is the most popular method.

Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera has gained popularity in recent years for its versatility. Aloe Vera contains antibacterial properties that prevent bad breath and the formation of plaque or calculus. It is very easily available these days. If you cannot find fresh Aloe Vera you can also buy store bought Aloe Vera Gel. 

Scoop out the Aloe Vera Gel from the Aloe leaf and massage it gently on the calculus affected area. Leave it in for a few minutes and rinse. Doing this regularly helps reduce and control tartar.

Cloves: Cloves have been used for dental remedies and care for ages. So spice up your life with clove to get rid of conditions like bad breath, plaque and calculus. Clove naturally has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that wash out the germs present in your mouth and thus reduces the chances of dental issues. 

You could either use Crushed cloves or clove powder long with olive or coconut oil. Mix a teaspoon of cloves powder with a little oil, make a paste and apply it on the affected area between your gums and teeth. Leave it in for a few minutes and then rinse.

The Final Word:

When it comes to Oral Health, it is always a good idea to maintain regular dental care and hygiene. By doing so, you will be able to avoid the pain of going through possible dental issues. A regular visit to your dentist will prevent serious teeth and gum related problems. In case you come across calculus, the best and the easiest way to tackle it is a visit to the dentist. When it comes to oral care, Brush and Floss are your two best buddies.

Categories
Beauty

5 Amazing DIY Face Masks for Naturally Glowing Skin

These days markets are brimming with skincare products. We can find new skincare products every other day. Some products are good while some don’t meet our expectations. Is there anything which matches age old DIY masks?

These days markets are brimming with skincare products. We can find new skincare products every other day. Some products are good while some don’t meet our expectations. Is there anything which matches age old DIY masks? 

If one lists down the benefits of DIY masks, it is never going to end. 

  1. They are pocket friendly. 
  2. One can be sure of the ingredients used. 
  3.  They are herbal. Herbal products are a rave these days and are getting very expensive.
  4.  Ingredients can be adjusted as per requirements which means DIY masks are customized. 

And the list continues……..

This post brings 5 amazing tried and tested DIY masks for naturally glowing skin. 

1)   Salicylic Acid Face Mask: Salicylic Acid is a kind of beta hydroxyl acid (BHA) which is used in many skincare products. It finds use mainly in anti acne topical medications due to its exfoliating properties. It not only acts as exfoliating agent but also soothes the skin due to its anti inflammatory properties.  

Where to find Salicylic Acid: Salicylic Acid can be found in powder form in local drugstores. If you are unable to find it in your local chemist shop, don’t worry. We have a proxy setting for the same ;). Just ask for aspirin tablets. Aspirin is Acetyl Salicylic Acid and its effects on skin are akin to that of Salicylic Acid.

Ingredients: 1)   Salicylic Acid Powder –   1 Teaspoon or spirin Tablets-   4 2)   Honey –   2 Teaspoons                          3) Lemon Juice –  0.5 ml

Method: Mix all the ingredients (if you are using aspirin tablets, crush them first) and form a paste of desired consistency. Apply on face and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with water. 

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All the three ingredients are very good for skin. Salicylic acid removes dead skin cells and cleans deeper layers of skin. Apart from deep cleansing and rejuvenation, it soothes the skin. Honey is a hydrating agent and is quite effective on blemishes. Moreover, honey is loaded with micronutrients which improve the general condition of skin. It also has anti ageing properties. Who does not want to look young after all ????? Lemon Juice is a natural bleach for skin and                                                                                   lightens the skin tone. So this face mask is a multipurpose skin care formula which cleanses the skin, provides mild peeling, works on blemishes and lightens the skin tone. 

Caution: Salicylic Acid in this face mask may cause little burning sensation during first few minutes which is quite normal. So please do not panic.  

2)  Gram Flour, Turmeric & Milk Mask ( Besan, Haldi aur Doodh Mask): Well.. This is something that has been passed on from generations. There is certainly one or two members in all Indian households who swear by this mask. This acts as a go to mask when one does not have time to gather some complicated ingredients. All the ingredients are readily available in kitchen. 

Ingredients: 1) Gram flour- 1 Tablespoon 2) Turmeric- 1-2 pinches   3)  Milk – As desired to make a mask like consistency                     

                     

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Method: Take gram flour and turmeric in a bowl. Add some milk and mix to form a paste. Apply on face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off in circular movements with water. This face mask provides glow to skin. Use it three times a week to get rid of marks and blemishes. Its regular usage clears facial hair along with making skin fairer and clearer. 

Tip: Oily skin beauties may add curd and a little lemon juice instead of milk for added benefits

Caution: Turmeric in this mask can stain clothes so be careful when using this face mask. One can wear an old t-shirt when applying this mask. 

3)  Rice Flour and Almond Face Mask: This DIY mask was used by me during my teenage years when I was suffering from acne. Problem of acne was not that severe but it were the marks and pits which created a mess. At that point of time, sole aim in my life was to get rid of those marks. This mask was suggested to me by my grandfather who was a very renowned Vaid (Ayurvedic Medical Practitioner). And to my surprise, I had crystal clear skin within one and a half month of using this mask. Prior to using this mask, my family was apprehensive if those marks would ever go. I forgot to mention, there were some chickenpox marks as well. And voillaaaaaaa…..  I surprised everyone. Love u dada and miss u sooooo much. 

Let’s get back to the mask.

Method: Take 1 teaspoon rice flour and add 7-8 crushed almonds. Mix the two ingredients and make a thick paste by adding milk (preferably raw milk/ kaccha doodh). Apply a layer on face and leave on for 20-25 minutes. Rinse off with water. 

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Rice flour has whitening and anti ageing properties. Rice has been used as staple in skin care routine in china since centuries. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E which is essential for healthy skin. Milk is a natural bleach and toner. This face mask makes skin fairer, removes blemishes and tightens the skin. 

4)  Banana, Honey and Olive Oil Face Mask: This mask is hydrating, anti marks, anti blemishes, anti ageing and fights fine lines. 

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Method: Take a ripe banana, 1 tablespoon honey and one teaspoon olive oil. Cut banana into small pieces. Add honey and olive oil. Mix all the ingredients well to make a thick paste. Apply on face and rinse off after 20-25 minutes. 

5)  Honey and Curd Face Mask: When eaten, honey and curd have many health benefits. Topical benefits of the two ingredients are same for the skin as oral benefits for overall health. When applied on skin, the two ingredients provide antioxidants and many beneficial nutrients to the skin. This mask fights tanning and works on blemishes to give a glow to the skin. 

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Method: Take one tablespoon of curd and 1/4th of a tablespoon of honey. Mix well and apply on face. Wash off after 20-25 minutes. 

All the lovely ladies and gentlemen there, try these face masks this festive season for a naturally glowing skin and share your experiences with us.