Let me pose a question to you, How do you know you have cleaned your teeth properly?
You can feel your teeth after you clean your teeth to make sure that they do not feel “furry”. You can use a position detection electric toothbrush like the Oral-B Genius 8000 and 9000 to make sure that you have cleaned all areas of your teeth. Both these methods do not actually confirm that all the plaque has been cleaned from your teeth.
But first of all what is plaque and why should we be bothered about it? Plaque is a white, tenacious biofilm of bacteria and if left on your teeth can cause gum disease. It is really important that all the plaque gets removed from your teeth every time you brush. The problem is plaque is the same colour as your teeth and is almost invisible to the naked eye. Plaque HD PRO toothpaste using targetol technology dyes the plaque green meaning that you can see the plaque and make sure that it is all cleaned off. Very clever stuff!
This is not a new idea
The idea of dying plaque a different colour is not a new idea. It has been attempted many times previously. The problem has always been the implementation of it. Plaque disclosing tablets have been used by dentists, hygienists and patients for many years and it can now be bought over the counter. Disclosing tablets use vegetable dyes such as Phyloxine B to stain plaque a bright colour . Some tricolor plaque disclosing tablets will even differentiate between the age of the plaque, letting you know how long the plaque has been sitting there on your teeth. Yuk!
I currently use and sell Plaqsearch Advanced Disclosing Tablets at my dental clinic and think it is a good product. The only major downside to all plaque disclosing tablets is that it stains everything! If you get it on your shirt, it is almost impossible to get off. It also stains the sink even if you rinse it out straightaway. Finally it stains your tongue, so it means your tongue will be dyed blue for the rest of the day not something you want to happen before an important meeting. Plaque disclosing tablets do have a place in oral health care however cannot be used on a daily basis.
Colgate total proof toothpaste was brought out in 2016 to combine a plaque disclosing tablet with a fluoridated toothpaste. Although the idea was solid, the implementation was poor. Having been given a sample of colgate total proof, the only thing that it did was dye my washbasin, towels and anything it touched blue. It did not actually dye the plaque blue which defeated the point of the toothpaste. Needless to say,it has been a flop which is reflected by an average of 2.5 stars on Amazon (at the time of writing).
History of Plaque HD
Plaque HD was developed in 2007 by a dentist who wanted to show his patients which areas they were missing whilst brushing. After 5 years of research and testing, this was then incorporated into Plaque HD PRO toothpaste. Targetol which is the plaque identifying solution in Plaque HD PRO toothpaste is a plant extract that dyes dental plaque green. It is also gluten free which is a bonus. However the real question is does the Plaque HD PRO toothpaste do a good job of functioning as a toothpaste and does Targetol work?
1) Cavity Protection – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste review
Fluoride concentration is the active ingredient that protects the teeth against cavities and tooth decay. Tooth decay is heavily linked to sugar. Acid producing bacteria on your teeth then feed on the sugar and convert it into acid. This acid then slowly softens your teeth and forms holes also known as cavities. Fluoride protects against this process in two ways:
- It strengthens the enamel of the tooth forming a substance known as fluorapatite (hydroxyapatite with fluoride in). This makes the tooth more resistant to decay
- Fluoride inhibits or destroys acidogenic bacteria preventing them from forming acid and thus preventing tooth decay
Cavity protection adults
The maximum amount of fluoride concentration allowed for an over the counter toothpaste in the United Kingdom and United States is 1500 parts per million (at the time of writing). Plaque HD PRO toothpaste contains 1100 parts per million (ppm). This is lower than the maximum so the toothpaste does not provide maximum protection against cavities for adults.
Cavity protection children
Children up to the age of 6 years old have been advised to use toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm. Plaque HD Pro toothpaste advises that it can be used on children aged between 2-6 years old providing it is under supervision. 0-2 years old is NOT recommended. This toothpaste would provide adequate cavity protection for children aged between 2-6 years old. If you are using Plaque HD PRO toothpaste on a child who is between 2-3 years old only use a smear of toothpaste. If the child is 3-6 years old then use a pea sized amount which is 0.25 grams of toothpaste.
Spit don’t rinse…. or not?
Usually with toothpastes, it is recommended to only spit out the excess toothpaste and not to rinse out with water (If you want to find out how to brush your teeth properly click here). The reason for this is to let the fluoride toothpaste sit on your teeth to form more fluorapatite and inhibit those acidogenic bacteria. In the step by step instructions of Plaque HD PRO toothpaste it recommends you to rinse out completely with water. This is presumably to remove the green targetol from your mouth after use. This would result in a lot lower cavity protection. What you could do if you are 6+ years old is to brush afterwards with a toothpaste containing 1450ppm fluoride to recoat your teeth with fluoride. However this does seem a bit long winded.
Sorbitol instead of xylitol
Plaque HD Pro toothpaste uses Sorbitol as an artificial sweetener instead of xylitol. Xylitol has been shown to reduce tooth decay in children by 13% over a 3 year period with no reported side effects. Sorbitol has no known cavity protection properties however it does not cause decay which is most certainly a good thing!
Future improvements to cavity protection
I have spoken with the owner of Plaque HD PRO toothpaste who tells me that they are looking to bring out a 1450ppm fluoride concentration version. Until then this toothpaste will always score low for cavity protection.
Cavity Protection – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste scores ⭐️⭐️ out of 5
2) Gum Protection – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste review
Targetol (the plaque identifying ingredient)
Although Targetol does not have any direct effect on gums, it dyes plaque green which ultimately will improve your cleaning habits. In one study done on targetol it improved brushing by 5 times! Admittedly this study was only done on 31 adults however it does prove that plaque control improves with using Plaque HD PRO toothpaste. As plaque is the main cause of gum disease, improved removal of plaque will be the most effective way of preventing gum disease.
Plaque HD PRO contains tetrasodium pyrophosphate to reduce formation of calculus and tartar. It does so by removing calcium and magnesium from the saliva. Calculus i a secondary factor in causing gum disease. The rough surface of the calculus allows bacteria and plaque to adhere to it’s surface. Plaque if left on your teeth can cause inflammation of your gums (gingivitis) and ultimately lead to more severe gum disease (periodontitis). Plaque HD PRO toothpaste therefore does have some in built gum protection.
No Triclosan or stannous fluoride
The two most potent toothpaste ingredients versus gum disease are triclosan and stannous fluoride. Plaque HD PRO toothpaste does not contain either of these two ingredients. Triclosan is found in Colgate total and stannous fluoride in Oral-B Pro Expert.
Gum Protection – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste Scores ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5
3) Sensitivity – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste review
Plaque HD Pro toothpaste is not a specialised hypersensitivity toothpaste and does not have any specific desensitizing agents like Novamin found in sensodyne repair and protect or arginine found in colgate sensitive pro relief. It does have sodium fluoride which has been shown to have desensitizing effects. Admittedly in Plaque HD Pro toothpaste, the concentration of fluoride is low at 1100ppm. I would not recommend this toothpaste if you have particularly sensitive teeth.
This will be covered more in the next section enamel loss. Plaque HD Pro toothpaste has a low abrasivity which means it is good for people with sensitive teeth.
Sensitivity – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste Scores ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5
4) Enamel loss – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste review
A low abrasivity
Plaque HD PRO toothpaste contains hydrated silica to help remove external stains from the teeth and dental plaque. This toothpaste actually contains a low amount of hydrated silica, which is great! This is because a low abrasivity toothpaste is highly unlikely to cause enamel loss and cause a type of tooth wear known as toothbrush abrasion. Toothbrush abrasion leads to sensitivity and gum recession.
Abrasivity is measured in Relative Dentine Abrasiveness (RDA) and Plaque HD Pro toothpaste has a score of 70. Here is a comparison table of some of Plaque HD’s competitors.
|Relative Dentine Abrasiveness (RDA)||Toothpaste Name|
|4||Toothbrush with plain water|
|34||Pronamel by Sensodyne|
|104||Sensodyne Extra Whitening|
|142||Colgate total whitening|
|152||Crest Sensitive Whitening|
As you can see from the above table, Plaque HD Pro toothpaste compares favorably with most of the toothpastes on the market.
Enamel Loss – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste Scores⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5
5) Taste, texture, Breath and Colour – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste review
Taste, texture and breath
Plaque HD Pro toothpaste comes in two flavours:
- Berry bubble gum – which is better suited for children
- Fresh mint – which is better suited for adults and makes your breath feel fresher
Both taste very nice and I could definitely use it on a daily basis. The texture of the toothpaste is quite smooth because of the toothpastes low abrasivity.
Although the toothpaste does not have any active ingredient to fight bad breath, the mint flavor in particular does leave your breath smelling nice for the rest of the day.
The colour of Plaque HD Pro is a very bright turquoise. This is in part due to the targetol (the plaque identify ingredient) and the artificial colouring blue#1. Blue#1 has been FDA approved for use in food, drugs and cosmetics.
Taste, texture, breath & colour – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste Scores⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5
6) Value for Money – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste review
Plaque HD Pro currently costs $28.99 in the United States. This is not a cheap toothpaste when most toothpastes cost a fraction of the cost.
Whether you consider it worth the price depends on how much you value the plaque identifying effect of the toothpaste. For people who have poor brushing habits and suffer from plaque related gum disease, this toothpaste will be well worth the price. For others who have good brushing habits, this toothpaste will have little effect. I do not see this toothpaste as a daily regular toothpaste but a specialist toothpaste which is good for people with poor brushing habits.
Value for Money – Plaque HD PRO toothpaste Scores⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What electric toothbrush would you recommend to use with Plaque HD PRO toothpaste?
Would you recommend this toothpaste for children?
I would always follow the manufacturer’s advise on the packaging. Plaque HD PRO Toothpaste has been recommended for children 2 years and older (at the time of writing this article). Under 2 years old plaque HD Pro recommends to consult a dentist or doctor.
Is Plaque HD PRO Toothpaste gluten free?
Yes it is indeed gluten free.
Does the plaque identifying agent actually work?
Yes it does, I have tried it out on my own teeth and purposefully left plaque on it for the targetol to mark green. It does not mark up as well as plaque disclosing tablets, but it is much less messy. If you find that you use the toothpaste and it does not leave any green marks, this means you are brushing your teeth correctly.
Is Plaque HD safe to use?
Yes Plaque HD is a fluoride toothpaste that is as safe to use as another fluoride toothpaste on the market.
Plaque HD PRO toothpaste review Summary
Plaque HD PRO toothpaste is a great way to identify the areas that you are missing whilst brushing and will help improve your brushing habits. The only limiting factors are the reduced concentration of fluoride and the high price.