Saturday, February 04, 2006

Dental plaque identification at home

This test identifies areas of dental plaque, which shows how thoroughly (or not) you are brushing and flossing your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance, composed of millions of bacteria, which collects around and between teeth. It is the major cause of tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis) and is hard to see because it is whitish colored, like teeth.

How the test is performed:


There are 2 methods to perform this test. One method is with disclosing tablets. One tablet is chewed thoroughly, moving the mixture of saliva and dye over the teeth and gums for about 30 seconds. The tablet contains a red dye that will color the plaque. The mouth is then rinsed with water and the teeth are examined to identify pink-stained areas (unremoved plaque). A small dental mirror may help to check all areas.

The second method is a plaque light. With this method, a special fluorescent solution is swirled around the mouth. The mouth is rinsed gently with water, and the teeth and gums are examined while shining an ultraviolet plaque light into the mouth. The advantage of this method is that it leaves no pink stains in the mouth.

However in the office, dentists are often able to detect plaque through a thorough examination with dental instruments.

more info at: www.dredyclinic.com/

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