The home dental plaque identification test identifies plaque, a sticky substance that collects around and between teeth. The test helps show how well you are brushing and flossing your teeth.
There are two ways to perform this test. One method uses special tablets that contain a red dye that stains the plaque. One tablet is chewed thoroughly, moving the mixture of saliva and dye over the teeth and gums for about 30 seconds. 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 uses a plaque light. 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.
In the office, dentists are often able to detect plaque through a thorough examination with dental instruments.
Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly.
Your mouth may feel slightly dried out after use of the dye.
The test is performed to help identify missed plaque and improve brushing and flossing of the teeth so that areas of plaque are not left. If the plaque is not removed, it can cause tooth decay or cause the gums to bleed easily (gingivitis) and become red or swollen.
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