by Dr Julian Bray, Darlinghurst Vet, NSW
These plaque indicating swabs highlight plaque on the teeth in a bright reddish pink colour. The nurses at my practice have found this to be an extremely handy product when performing a dental.
What’s good about it
They are simply a cotton tip filled with plaque disclosing solution. When the end is snapped at the red line, the fluid runs to the tip of the other end. The swab is then gently wiped over all surfaces of the teeth to highlight the plaque. It works in the same manner as the little red tablet kids are made to chew at the dentist. When they look in the mirror, the dentist can point out that they aren’t cleaning their teeth properly!
Vets and nurses can use these in dental consultations to show the client how much plaque is on the teeth of their pet. Normally, this plaque cannot be seen with the naked eye. This is a perfect segue into explaining periodontal disease and the importance of oral health care in pets.
When performing a prophylaxis, the swabs work like magic, showing exactly where the plaque is on the surface of the tooth prior to being ultrasonically scaled. The cotton tips come in convenient single-use packaging and are very easy to apply. They can be used before prophylaxis to highlight dirty teeth, and after to make any missed spots visible. They enable you to perform an exceptional teeth cleaning so the client really gets their money’s worth.
What’s not so good
It is a good idea to always wear gloves as the solution temporarily stains. Once the tip has been snapped, the solution needs to be applied immediately.