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 2/25/2014
Updated by: Ilona Fotek, DMD, MS, Palm Beach Prosthodontics Dental Associates, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.