We’ve all heard patients say things like “I’m sorry I did not get a chance to brush after lunch today.” The reality is the plaque buildup we see in their mouths is not only a few hours old, but potentially days old.
Historically, we have used disclosing agents to show patients areas they are missing when brushing, but this doesn’t tell patients how long the plaque has been on their teeth. An innovative product by GC America, named Tri Plaque ID Gel, actually puts a relative time stamp on the plaque as well as shows if the plaque is more aggressive and acid producing.
The blue gel is simply applied to all tooth surfaces that are of concern. The patient is then instructed to rinse lightly with water and expectorate. If the plaque is truly new, the deep blue color rinses off and a pinkish red color remains. On the other hand, if the plaque has been present for more than 48 hours, the structure is denser. The blue and red pigments of the gel become trapped, making the plaque appear a dark bluish purple.
GC also has added sucrose to the gel to help identify acid producing plaque. The sucrose will be metabolized by acidogenic bacteria within the biofilm and lower the plaque pH, ultimately causing the red pigment to disappear and show up as a light blue coloration on the teeth.
These three-color highlights help motivate patients to improve their oral hygiene and also alerts the dental team to those who have a greater risk for caries. To the untrained eye, plaque is nearly invisible, and patients cannot resonate with an issue they do not see. Most people learn visually and this innovative gel makes the issues clearly evident, so patients can take ownership in their own oral care.
Click here for more information on Tri Plaque ID Gel™.