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 2/22/2016
Updated by: Michael Kapner, DDS, general and aesthetic dentistry, Norwalk Medical Center, Norwalk, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.