13th January 2014
How do you know if you have removed all the food and plaque from around your teeth? You may be able to see some food particles or rely on your partner to point out the spinach stuck between your teeth but you cannot see the plaque, which is sticky and colourless. There is a safe and simple way of seeing how effective your cleaning is.
Plaque disclosing tablets; these contain a harmless vegetable dye that reacts with the plaque that may remain on areas of your teeth after cleaning. Simply chew a tablet and let it mix with your saliva, then swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out. When you look in the mirror, you can see the areas you have missed.
As plaque is forming continuously on your teeth a light stain may show up. This is okay. You are looking for dark staining which indicates plaque has been present for longer than 12 hours. This plaque leads to cavities forming and gum disease. Then brush and floss until the stain is gone! Your gums may also be stained, but that is normal.
It is a good idea to add disclosing to your routine once per week to help you spot the areas you regularly miss.
Save your teeth, gums and money.