If you’ve brushed twice and flossed once daily for months, you might think you’ve been plaque free for all that time. But at your next regular check-up, your dentist delivers the bad news – you’ve consistently missed certain hard-to-reach areas and now have major plaque build-up, tartar and even decay. So you might ask yourself, “What is wrong with my brushing and flossing technique?”

That’s a good question but to be fair, you can’t always spot plaque that easily. After all, plaque is almost the same colour as your teeth and it’s difficult to see on the back of your molars.

Yet there is one way you can monitor and assess the effectiveness of your brushing and flossing – plaque disclosing tablets, gel or toothpaste. Using disclosing tablets also happens to be the same way your dentist spots plaque during a dental clean – so you’ll be utilising a tried and tested method.

How do you use plaque disclosing tablets?

Plaque disclosing tablets are a real game changer. They are cheap and easy to use. So, how do you use them? First, put a little bit of lip balm on your lips. Otherwise, they might turn bright blue, pink or purple. Then you take half or one disclosing tablet, pop it in your mouth, chew it up and spread the coloured saliva all around the teeth in your mouth.

Spit out the excess saliva and then presto! You can see any areas you’ve missed because the remaining plaque will be pinkish or purplish while plaque free areas remain white.

Now you can go ahead and brush and/or floss those missed areas plus you’ll know where to concentrate your brushing and flossing in the future. Use the other half of the tablet to check again to see how well you went. To follow up, use disclosing tablets once a week or fortnight to stay on track.

It’s that easy.

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Plaque disclosing tablets can help kids brush their teeth better

Children can benefit from using disclosure tablets too. They are a great visual aid to show kids where the plaque sits on their teeth, thus promoting more effective brushing and flossing. Just be mindful that disclosing products can stain sinks, bench tops and carpets, so have your child use them at the kitchen sink.