It would be so much easier to keep a child’s mouth healthy if plaque was as easy to see as it is in much of the literature available about the topic. In reality, plaque is quite difficult to see, and you may not even know you have a problem with plaque build-up until your gums begin to redden and bleed. Of course, plaque is a problem for all ages, but especially for children in the early years when they begin to learn brushing and flossing techniques, or children with braces. This is where plaque disclosing tablets can be especially helpful for both children and parents.
Disclosing Tablets Help Kids and Parents See Plaque That Gets Missed
Plaque disclosing tablets are essentially a visual aid to help ensure that your child cleared away as much plaque as possible with brushing and flossing. You could think of it as a plaque “highlighter”. These tablets are chewable and come in a variety of flavours to make them more enjoyable for kids. The bright colours aid in making the ridding of plaque more fun for kids. The tablets are made out of a disclosing agent that is reacts to the plaque on the teeth. A child would simply brush and floss their teeth, then chew a tablet and use their saliva to swish it around in the mouth, and spit out what remains. When the plaque is highlighted, all the child has to do is brush away the color. If the chewable method doesn’t sound like something your children would like, there is also plaque disclosing mouth wash and swabs on the market as well.
Plaque: Difficult to Spot, Especially for Children
Plaque is nearly impossible to spot, especially for a child who is just learning how to brush and floss. Using a disclosing tablet to identify the plaque provides a visual aid that is not only helpful in removing the plaque, but helpful to use as a teaching aid to stress the importance of good oral hygiene.
A child likely doesn’t realize just how much bacteria lives in the mouth because they simply can’t imagine it. Using this tool to colour the plaque helps show them how important it is to brush multiple times per day, and floss once per day. They will also see their progress as they become better at brushing, because less colour will remain on their teeth making this both and excellent visual and teaching aid.
Educating Children About Plaque is a Vital Step in Helping Them Control it
There are many things a child can and should learn about plaque, so that they take oral hygiene seriously throughout their life. Plaque forms on teeth each and every day. That is why brushing and flossing consistently is important. Good brushing and flossing habits break up this plaque so that the bacteria cannot live and multiply in it. The idea is to rid your mouth of as much harmful bacteria as possible. This bacteria secretes acid that causes tooth decay, cavities, and bad breath. The plaque that it lives in is nearly colourless and made up of the bacteria and food particles. Plaque sticks to the grooves of teeth and the chewing surfaces on the back teeth. It can also be found between teeth and along the gum lines. If this plaque isn’t removed daily it can begin to harden in as little as two days, after as little as seven days it turns into tartar which is cement like and often has to be removed by a dentist.
Identify and Eliminate Plaque Before it can Progress
The presence of tartar in a child’s mouth is the precursor to cavities. The acids produced within the tartar will begin to erode teeth and leave them susceptible to cavities. This is why plaque disclosing tablets should be an integral part of a child’s oral health care routine. Not only do they help parents teach their children proper dental techniques, they help the children visualize the importance of taking care of their teeth, and they also see both the areas they need to brush better, and how they have been improving.
If you have questions about how to use disclosing tablets, or if you need any advice about plaque, give us a call at the office and we can help you out.