Self-Examination for Dental Plaque
How It Is Done continued...
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.
How It Feels
Disclosing tablets and disclosing
solution do not cause any discomfort. These products may be flavored to make
them more pleasant-tasting.
After you use the disclosing tablets, your mouth
and tongue may be temporarily stained for as long as a day with a harmless dye.
Many people use the disclosing tablets at bedtime so that the stain left in
their mouths can fade overnight.
Some disclosing tablets make a
bright red stain, which can stain clothing.
Be sure to read the
package instructions. Some disclosing products have dyes that people may be
A self-examination for
dental plaque is done using a product that stains the
plaque on your teeth. This lets you see how well you are brushing and
flossing your teeth. If you see that the dye has stained plaque in your mouth
along gum lines and between teeth, you can brush and floss more carefully. Try
brushing again to remove the plaque.
What Affects the Test
There are no reasons why you
cannot do this test unless you are
allergic to the dyes used in these disclosing
products. Check the ingredient list if you are allergic to some dyes.
What To Think About
The dental mirror may fog up while
it is in your mouth. It may help to run it under warm water before using
Other Works Consulted
Beatty CF, Nikpur N (2009). Self-care measures to supplement toothbrushing. In NO Harris et al., eds., Primary Preventive Dentistry, 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.