Plaque-disclosing tablets are a common tool that dentists sometimes recommend for children. They can be helpful in teaching your child how to develop effective and thorough dental hygiene habits. If you're curious about these tablets, here's what you need to know about them.
What They Are
Plaque-disclosing tablets are small chewable tablets that are meant to be consumed. They contain vegetable dye. This is completely safe to consume and to have on your teeth.
Plaque, despite its dangerous nature, is very hard to see with the naked eye. It's even harder to see when you're trying to look for it in a mirror, as you can't get as close to your mouth as another person can. This can make it difficult for kids to really understand whether or not their teeth are clean after brushing them.
Plaque-disclosing tablets fix this problem by revealing the hidden plaque with the vegetable dye. The dye sticks to the plaque but slides off the enamel, so only the parts of the tooth that still have a coating of plaque are visible. You can also use plaque-disclosing tablets as a quick way to make sure that your child actually brushed their teeth if you're suspicious that they didn't.
Where You Can Get Them
Plaque-disclosing tablets are often sold in dentists' offices, but they can also be found at grocery stores or anywhere with a dental aisle.
How to Use Them
Plaque-disclosing tablets are intended to be used after brushing one's teeth. You can start with using one instead if you want to create a before and after effect for your child, but most people just utilize them after to see what's left.
After your child has brushed their teeth thoroughly and rinsed, give them a tablet and have them chew it. They're usually flavored nicely, so your child shouldn't mind it. Have them smile for a mirror and they'll quickly see any areas of the mouth that were missed. Once they've taken a look, you can either let them rinse if they did a good job, or have them brush their teeth again to remove the residue of the tablet and to remove more plaque.
Building good dental hygiene habits is an important part of making sure that your child will have a healthy mouth in the future. Talk to a dentist like William E Kemper DMD if you want to pick up plaque-disclosing tablets or want additional tips for your child.