Plaque is the major cause of tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis), so it is important to floss and brush properly. One way to test for proper brushing is to use disclosing tablets. After chewing a tablet and rinsing the mouth, pink-stained areas on the teeth identify the areas that contain plaque. If plaque is not removed, tooth decay or gingivitis can develop.
Update Date 2/22/2012
Updated by: Paul Fotek, DMD, Florida Institute for Periodontics & Dental lmplants, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.