What are Plaque Disclosing Tablets and How to Use Them?

If you take a look at your teeth, you may find some food debris but you may not see the plaque.

Plaque is a colorless and sticky film of bacteria that forms on the surface of the teeth and causes cavities and gum diseases.


It is a hidden danger. You may brush and floss every day, but the colorless plaque continually forms on the surface of the teeth. (1)

So, how can you tell if you have successfully removed the plaque after brushing your teeth?

Luckily, there is specific plaque disclosing tablets that allow you to visualize the areas that may be covered by plaque.

Plaque disclosing tablets are indigenous and easy to use. These tablets contain a vegetable dye that stains the layer of plaque on the surface of the tooth.

Plaque disclosing tablets are beneficial to educate the patient about the areas that are prone to plaque build-up. It also helps to correct the brushing technique of the patient.

In this article, we will focus on the importance and use of disclosing tablets as a diagnostic tool to detect plaque build-up on the tooth surface.

What is plaque?

Plaque is a film of bacteria and salivary by-products that consistently adhere to the surface of the tooth.

It is sticky and colorless which makes it difficult to detect through the naked eye. (2)

If a person doesn’t follow a proper brushing technique, the plaque continues to build-up. Over time, it may appear as a white sticky layer on the surface of the tooth.

Plaque forms a habitat for the oral bacteria to reside and ferment the sugars from food into acids. These bacterial acids initiate the process of dental caries and cavity formation. (3)

If the plaque is still not removed from the surface of the tooth, it calcifies to form calculus. Calculus constantly irritates the gums and may cause a periodontal breakdown.

Hence, it is essential to clean the tooth surface and remove the plaque well before it becomes problematic.

Where does plaque form on the teeth?

Most plaque adheres between the teeth and around the gum line. It is the only place where plaque can accumulate without being disturbed by the toothbrush.

A good way of removing plaque from such areas is by flossing correctly.

What is plaque disclosing tablets?

Plaque disclosing tablets are a type of diagnostic tool used for patient education.

These chewable tablets contain a vegetable dye that temporarily stains the layer of plaque red or purple. It helps to visualize the areas with plaque build-up. (4)

These tablets are easy to use and the identified stains can be easily removed by proper brushing technique.

How to use plaque disclosing tablet?

A plaque disclosing tablet is generally used after brushing and flossing. One tablet can suffice to stain the teeth and surrounding tissues.

  • Take the tablet and chew thoroughly
  • Allow it to mix with the saliva in the mouth
  • Swish the saliva in the mouth to coat the surfaces of the teeth for at least 30 seconds and spit it out
  • Look into the mirror at the stained areas on the surface of the teeth
  • The areas stained as bright red and blue are the indicators of plaque
  • Use a proper brushing and flossing technique to remove the stained plaque efficiently

What is the importance of using a plaque disclosing tablet?

Use of plaque disclosing tablets allows you to visualize the areas that require cleaning. It helps to identify the neglected areas in the mouth.

Such diagnostic tools help to educate the patient about the proper brushing and flossing technique.

For example, most of the people do not brush the back of their teeth as efficiently as the front surface.

Disclosing tablets help to point out the areas of concern. It improves the standard of brushing and helps to maintain proper oral hygiene.

A research study followed 100 people where half of them received plaque disclosing tablets to use at home for at least 21 days.

Other half was not given anything. Also, proper brushing technique was demonstrated to both the groups. (5)

The result of the study concluded that people who used plaque disclosing tablet had better control over plaque as compared to the people who did not use the tablets.

Is plaque disclosing tablet safe to use?

Plaque disclosing tablets are safe to use in both children and adults. However, it is advised to read the instructions on the packet before use.

The use of a disclosing tablet is highly recommended among children. It educates them about their oral hygiene and makes it a fun and engaging activity.

However, disclosing tablets should not be swallowed in any case. Supervise your child while they use disclosing tablets.

Where can you find the disclosing tablets?

Disclosing tablets are readily available in any departmental or drug store. They are relatively inexpensive.

A pack of 30 tablets may cost only $12 while a box of 250 tablets may cost upto $40.

Such cost-effective tablets will help you to clean your teeth and maintain good oral hygiene thoroughly.

Take away message

Formation of plaque is a common issue among the population. This sticky film of bacteria is the root cause of tooth decay and cavities.

But plaque disclosing tablets can prove to be a handy diagnostic tool which can identify plaque.


These indigenous tablets easily stain the areas of concern and allow the individual to self-evaluate their oral hygiene.

It also helps people to follow an improved oral healthcare routine by modifying their brushing and flossing technique.

Plaque disclosing tablets are best used among children to educate them and teach them proper brushing techniques right from an early age.

So what are you waiting for? Grab the plaque disclosing tablets and achieve a healthy smile.


You May Also Like

A Peek Inside the Working of a Mobile Dental Clinic

In a mobile dental clinic, the dentist and staff arrive at a facility where the patients are already located. This facility can be a school, community center, old age care facility, or even a sizeable manufacturing facility.

Who is an Orthodontist Assistant? Unfolding Facts

An orthodontist assistant is a dental auxiliary that aids an orthodontist in carrying out treatment procedures focused on aligning the teeth of the patient.

An Insight on Oral Surgeons (Maxillofacial) and their Treatments

Oral maxillofacial surgeons are dental specialists who focus on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries, and issues associated with the head, neck, face, jaws, and hard or soft tissues of the mouth.

Orthodontist Vs. Dentist – What is the Difference?

Compared to a regular dentist, an orthodontist undergoes additional training in a residency program for 2-3 years post-dental degree.

Who is a Biologic Dentist? Unfold the Various Facts

A biological dentist uses minimal invasive dental therapies & patient education. They use safe & biocompatible dental material for tooth restoration.

More Articles Like This