A self-examination for
dental plaque is done using a product that stains the
plaque on your teeth. Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that sticks to
your teeth, the spaces between the teeth, and under your gums. It can harden
into tartar. The stain lets you to see how well you are brushing and flossing
Plaque is made of different germs (bacteria) that grow
on teeth. These bacteria react with sugars and starches in foods to make acids
and other substances that can cause problems and damage the teeth, gums, and
bone. Acids can eat away at tooth enamel by removing minerals from the enamel
(this is called demineralization).
Products you can use at home
These products stain plaque that was missed
when you brushed and flossed along your gum lines and between your teeth. Good
brushing and flossing breaks up the plaque and does not let the bacteria and
acid cause problems.
Why It Is Done
Plaque forms on the teeth every day
and needs to be removed. It sticks to grooves and biting surfaces of the back
teeth, between the teeth, and next to the gum line.
dental plaque helps you take better care of your teeth and mouth.
How To Prepare
You will need a:
- Supply of disclosing tablets, disclosing
solution, or disclosing swabs.
- Small dental mirror to check
hard-to-see areas of your mouth. (A mirror is helpful but not required.)
Dental mirrors and disclosing tablets, solution, and swabs
can be bought from most dentists and pharmacies.
How It Is Done
You will brush and floss your teeth.
Then you will use the disclosing product. Follow the instructions on the
package. Gently rinse your mouth with water. Check your teeth for plaque that
has been colored with the dye. Your gums also may be stained and appear red,
but this is not a problem. Use a dental mirror, if you have one, to help see
behind teeth and the areas in the back of your mouth. If you find stained
plaque, brush and floss again until it is gone. This helps you find areas you
Chew a disclosing tablet and
allow it to mix with your saliva. Swish the mixture around in your mouth with
your tongue for about 30 seconds and then spit it out.
Put some disclosing solution
in your mouth, swish it around for about 30 seconds, and then spit the solution
Apply the swab to all tooth
surfaces in your mouth.
Use these products regularly until you find no more
areas of stained plaque after you brush and floss. You may want to test for
plaque once a month to be sure you are getting rid of the plaque.