Patients who have inadequate oral hygiene are frequently re-trained in correct brushing and flossing. Despite improvement, plaque may not be fully removed. The pictures show that even after brushing and flossing re-training, plaque remains.

Photo courtesy of School of Dentistry, Cardiff University.

The Adult Dental Health Survey carried out in the UK in 2009 reported that while 75% of all dentate adults cleaned their teeth twice a day or more, 66% of all dentate adults had visible plaque on at least one tooth and, on average, 6 teeth in the mouth had plaque.1

In one study of 33 patients who were given two sessions of instruction in oral hygiene, the plaque index returned to the pre-intervention level after one year.2


  1. Chadwick B et al. 5: Preventive behaviour and risks to oral health - a report from the Adult Dental Health Survey 2009. NHS. The Health and Social Care Information Centre. 2011.
  2. Stewart JE, Wolfe GR. The retention of newly-acquired brushing and flossing skills. J Clin Periodontol 1989; 16: 331–332.