Hunt Down Plaque at Home
If your child brushes and flosses regularly, you probably feel confident that his or her oral health is under control. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that destroys tooth enamel and causes decay and gum disease, may still be lurking—and since this substance is invisible to the naked eye, you will have no idea that it is there.
Luckily, several products on the market can help identify hidden areas of plaque, so your child can focus on those areas and brush to remove the damaging film before it wreaks havoc on his or her smile.
Two plaque-identifying products can help you see what you normally cannot:
- a reddish dye that adheres to plaque
- a special ultraviolet light that reveals plaque’s hiding places
Your child brushes and flosses as usual. Then, he or she either swishes a special mouthrinse or chews a special tablet and swishes the saliva around the mouth for about 30 seconds. After he or she spits out, look into your child’s mouth to see where the dye has settled. The stains reveal areas that need to be brushed again to get rid of missed plaque.
Your child brushes, flosses and then swishes around the mouth a special fluorescent solution that colors the plaque a bright orange yellow. After your child rinses his or her mouth with water, the dentist can examine the teeth and gums with a special ultraviolet light that allows the unremoved plaque to be seen and removed by further brushing.
Both methods are perfectly safe, but the plaque-revealing light method does not leave stains on your child’s teeth. The dye method may leave some residue; it’s best to use these dyes at night, so any stains can fade by the morning.
These plaque-identifying tools will help you hunt down nasty plaque that would otherwise attack your child’s teeth. If you are unsure about how to use these products or if their use has revealed extensive plaque, Dr. Jared can show you how to search for this sticky substance at home. Learning good oral habits while young can lead to your child’s maintaining healthy teeth and gums for life.
We’d love to meet you and your family! Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule today!