Q:

How do the Crest disclosing tablets work?

A:

Quick Answer

Plaque disclosing tablets, such as the one manufactured by Crest, work by highlighting the areas on one’s teeth that have plaque on them. These tablets usually consist of a non-toxic red vegetable dye that clings to the bacteria film known as plaque that forms on one’s teeth during the day.

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Full Answer

To use a plaque disclosing tablet like the one made by Crest, dentists suggest first brushing and flossing one’s teeth. After this, chew the tablet, and allow the dye to coat the surfaces of each tooth by swirling the dissolved tablet around the mouth. Once the stain has set in, examine the teeth thoroughly for colored areas and take note of them.

Plaque disclosing tablets are usually used after one has already brushed and flossed to evaluate personal dental hygiene effectiveness, most often in pediatric patients who visit the dentist. Because most individuals unknowingly skip some small area while brushing and flossing, such as near the gum line or on back teeth, it may be helpful for some adults to try a plaque disclosing tablet as well.

It is important to pinpoint areas that are frequently missed when performing dental hygiene in order to spend more time taking care of them in the future. Areas where plaque is allowed to remain for long periods will harden and form what is called tartar, according to Colgate.com. Tartar can only be removed by dentists because it is too hard to be scratched off with a toothbrush and toothpaste alone. If tartar stays on the teeth for too long, more plaque can attach to it, and conditions like cavities and gum disease may present themselves.

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