By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS - Winning With Smiles
Dentist: “Sally, if you were a tasty bug and you were hiding in the grass so a bird would not find you and eat you, what color would you like to be?”
Dentist: “Exactly! So if you are a cavity causing germ hiding on a tooth, what color would you be?”
Dentist: “Right again! That makes them invisible on your teeth. So when you brush your teeth, how do you know if you got them clean?”
Sally: "Hmmm. I don't know. I can't see the germs."
Dentist: “Well that is a problem, isn't it? When we brush our teeth we want to know we got all the germ hiding spots clean. If we could color the germs so we can see them, that would help, right?”
Sally: "Of course! That is why you use the pink stuff on my teeth at checkups."
Dentist: “Correct. At every checkup we want to help you see the places you are brushing well and the places your brush is missing. The pink "disclosing" stuff shows the germs for us. Did you know you can do this at home with your kitchen food colors? After you finish a "regular" tooth brushing, use a Q-Tip to paint the red food color over all your teeth. Then lick it all over. Then rinse real well with water and take a look. The clean areas on your teeth will rinse clean and leave the sticky germ "plaque" colored red and pink. Now you can teach yourself how to get those areas clean with your tooth brush. Do that once a week about 4 weeks and you will teach yourself how to be an excellent tooth brusher. For a really gross look, use the green or blue food color!
Sally's mother: "Why doesn't my dentist do this at every checkup for me? They talk about brushing better, but they have never shown me how to teach myself at home."
Dentist: “Good question!”