Welcome back to Hartwell Dentistry. This week we are discussing disclosing tablets.

So, what are disclosing tablets? Disclosing tablets are a great tool for our patient’s to use to make sure they are removing the plaque thoroughly from their teeth.

Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that generates on our teeth after eating and drinking. Depending on what we are eating, more plaque may form, especially if it has high amounts of sugar.  The bacteria in plaque can multiply rapidly and as it sits on our teeth and produces acids. These acids can cause enamel to become weakened (demineralisation) and tooth decay to form. The plaque can also harden over time, forming calculus (tartar) which causes gum disease.

Plaque can be a hard thing to see on our teeth. It is usually an opaque/white colour that blends in with the tooth surface, it’s that furry feeling you get when you feel your teeth with your tongue.

So how do you know of you are removing it all?

Disclosing tablets are a great tool to check if you are cleaning the plaque off the teeth effectively.

They are small chewable tablets made from dye that show up plaque on the teeth. The disclosing solution attaches to the plaque and dyes it two different colours. If the teeth are clean the dye won’t stick and the teeth will appear normal colour. The sections that are red/pink, the plaque has been there for less than 12 hours, if it appears blue/purple the plaque has been there for more than 12 hours, which usually the bacteria is more pathogenic (more likely to cause disease).

The disclosing tablets can be used after brushing and flossing to see the areas that you have missed. They can be purchased at Harwell dentistry or at selected chemists. Chew the tablet and then rinse your mouth out with clean water. Have a look in the mirror, the plaque will stain the plaque remaining on the teeth. Some people like to take a photo of the teeth and test themselves a few weeks later to see if the cleaning has improved.

Now it’s time to focus on cleaning those areas that you have been missing!

Thanks for spending time with Hartwell Dentistry.

Do you want straighter teeth? Join us next time, where we will be discussing an appliance that can straighten your teeth in 9-12 weeks.