California dentists Dr. Scott Thompson and Dr. Jennifer Ryan suggest another fun use for the food coloring box in your kitchen: painting or licking a few drops around your teeth to color bacteria.

At their practice, dentists use disclosing solution, “the pink stuff”, as a simple way to demonstrate bacteria on the teeth by making them visible. Food and vegetable dye works the same way.

By painting or licking a couple drops around your teeth (green might be fun!), then rinsing and swishing and spitting out, you can color bacteria. Then with a mirror in a well lighted place, take a look.

With  your toothbrush, see what it takes to get the places clean that you missed the last time you brushed your teeth. Surprise! Bacteria come off very easily.

According to Dr. Thompson’s blog Winning with Smiles, the reason that people continue to have cavities is not because bacteria are difficult to get off the teeth. It is because most people don’t know where their toothbrush has been missing those spots.

What are you waiting for? Get coloring… and brushing!