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Definition:A disclosing agent is a preparation in a liquid , tablet or lozenge from which contains a dye or other coloring agent, which is used for the identification of bacterial plaque, which might otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.

Dental plaque:It is defined as a variable structural entity formed by sequential colonization of microorganism on tooth surface, epithelium and restorations.

The ideal properties of disclosing agent are:A. Intensity of color B. Duration of intensity C. Taste D. Irritation to mucous membrane E. Diffusibility F. Astringent and antiseptic properties


Intensity of color:

A distinct staining of deposits should be evident. The color should contrast with the normal color of the oral cavity.


Duration of intensity:

The color should not rinse off with ordinary rinsing habits or by saliva for a period of time required to complete the clinical service. it is desirable for color to be removed from gingival tissue and lips by the completion of appointment as patient might react to the color.



Taste:The agent should be pleasant and encourage cooperation. It should not be highly flavoured or unpleasant as the patient may feel uncomfortable. Irritation to mucous membrane:The agent should not cause irritation to oral mucosa.



Diffusibility:The solution should be thin so that it can be readily applied to the exposed surfaces of teeth, yet think enough to impart an intensive color to bacterial plaque. Astringent and antiseptic properties:Its recommended that an antiseptic should be applied prior to scaling and if an antiseptic disclosing agent is used it serves a dual purpose.

Application of disclosing agent:

The solution may be directly applied to the tooth surface using cotton pellets or it may be rinsed after proper dilution. The tablets and wafers may be chewed or swished around the mouth for 30 to 60 seconds and rinsed. When applied to the teeth , the agent imparts its color to soft deposits but can be rinsed easily from clean tooth surfaces.

After staining ,the deposits are seen providing a valuable visual aid in patient instruction.
Therefore such a procedure can demonstrate dramatically to the patient the presense of deposits and the ares that need special attention during personal oral care.

Before using a plaque-disclosing product, brush and floss your teeth as usual. Then you can choose from the following:

Plaque disclosing tablet: Chew a tablet and let it mix with the saliva in your mouth, then swish the saliva around for about 30 seconds and spit it out. Plaque disclosing swab: Use the swabs to wipe the surfaces of your teeth.

Plaque disclosing solution: Swish the solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out.
Plaque disclosing floss: Use Oral-B Indicator Floss, which is blue in color to show the plaque youve removed after you use it. Also, the unique coated material is fray-resistant, so its also a smart floss choice if you have braces or a dental bridge.

Personalised patient instruction and motivation Self-evaluation by patient. To evaluate the effectiveness of oral hygiene maintenance. In research studies with regard to effectiveness of plaque control devices like toothbrushes and dentrifice etc.

Iodine preparations Skinners iodine solution Diluted tincture of iodine b) Mercurochrome preparations Mercurochrome solution 5% Flavored mercurochrome disclosing solution c) Bismark brown d) Merbromin

h)Two tone solutions: FD & C blue No.1 FD & C red No.3 It mainly stains thicker (older) plaque blue & thinner (newer) plaque red i) Basic fuschin