Have you missed any areas that may be prone to plaque build-up? Plaque disclosing products can help you improve your brushing and flossing habits by revealing the areas you may have missed. The primary aim of brushing your teeth is to clear away dental plaque. Plaque constantly forms on the teeth and is full of all those harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. By identifying hard-to-see plaque, you can completely remove plaque for a clean smile. If you are at increased risk for plaque buildup due to receding gums, wearing braces, a chronic medical condition or other risk factors, using a plaque-disclosing product can help to identify areas of your teeth that you’ve missed after completing your oral care routine. Plaque disclosing products contain a harmless dye that reacts with the plaque that may remain on areas of the teeth after cleaning. When you see the dyed areas, you can identify trouble spots to focus on when you brush and floss properly.
Types Of Plaque Disclosing Products
Before using a plaque-disclosing product, brush and floss your teeth as usual. Then you can choose from the following:
- Plaque disclosing tablet: Chew a tablet and let it mix with the saliva in your mouth, then swish the saliva around for about 30 seconds and spit it out.
- Plaque disclosing swab: Use the swabs to wipe the surfaces of your teeth.
- Plaque disclosing solution: Swish the solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out.
- Plaque disclosing floss: Use a colored floss to show the plaque you’ve removed after you use it.
- Plaque disclosing toothpaste: The toothpaste temporarily turns your teeth a teal, or other dye color, until it's time to stop brushing, which helps patients to identify and remove all traces of plaque.
Who Can Benefit From Using Them?
Everyone can benefit from using plaque disclosing products now and again. Even those with no teeth can use them, as the dye can be used to stain areas on dentures that aren’t being cleaned! Even if you are brushing perfectly, it does no harm to check this every so often. However, there are certain groups who will really benefit from using this product. These include:
- Kids. The obvious dye is a hit with kids! They generally have greater interest in cleaning their teeth when their mouths are bright red or purple! Kids can struggle with understanding the need for brushing so disclosing tablets are a great tool.
- Brace-wearers. Having orthodontic appliances on the teeth can make them harder to clean. But brushing properly is vital nonetheless, and the plaque staining tablets can be particularly useful in the period after braces are first put on.
- Gum disease sufferers. If you have gum disease, then it is vital that your oral hygiene becomes impeccable. Plaque build-up is the primary cause of any gum disease. Use the tablets to assist you in learning where you need to concentrate more on brushing and flossing.
- Those with implants, bridges and dentures. These treatments can all lead to ‘harder-to-clean’ areas. Clearing away debris from around these prostheses is very important in terms of making sure that they last and don’t damage adjacent teeth.
Disclosing solutions are helpful tools to maintain good dental hygiene. Some tools will work better with different individuals. The key is to find what works for you and use it regularly. Once good habits are formed, and the proper techniques have been learned to keep your mouth it’s cleanest, your overall dental health will improve. Remember, your dental health effects your overall health. As always, visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings to ensure your optimal dental health.