Plaque disclosing tablets

My son's dentist recently suggested that he use plaque disclosing tablets when he brushes. What are plaque disclosing tablets? How do they work? Are they reliable? Thank you for your assistance.

Question:

Plaque disclosing tablets contain a non-toxic red dye which attaches to plaque on teeth and gums. They are very helpful to determine the effectiveness of your son's oral hygiene regimen. After brushing and flossing, your son should chew a tablet and swish for about a minute. Once he has spit in the sink, you should inspect his teeth for areas which are stained reddish-pink.

These are areas where plaque remains because it was missed during the initial brushing and flossing. Your son should re-brush and re-floss these areas until no more reddish-pink remains in the teeth. These tablets are very reliable and help children and adults easily see where they should brush.

Soon patients learn efficient techniques to clean their teeth and they no longer need the help of disclosing tablets. It is not a bad idea to use a tablet every so often to check oral hygiene technique. Practice makes perfect!

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