15 facts about dental hygiene

It will come as no surprise that everyone wants beautiful, healthy teeth. Everyone knows that you need to brush and floss thoroughly for this. But not everyone knows that poor oral hygiene can lead to various diseases. Or that the position of your jaws can cause headaches is not yet generally known. After reading these 15 facts you will be wiser than ever about dental hygiene.

Dental plaque

Plaque is a sticky layer that has the same color as your teeth, so it is not easily noticeable. If plaque is not removed, the lime from your saliva causes the plaque to calcify. Then it becomes tartar and is not so easy to remove. For this you have to go to the dental hygienist or dentist. Plaque consists of bacteria that occur in the mouth. Gingivitis and tooth decay are caused by these bacteria.


It is very important to keep the spaces between the teeth clean, but it is also important to keep the gums supple, which we do with toothpicks. You floss with dental floss, which can be purchased at any drugstore and often even in the supermarket. When you floss, your gums should not hurt. A good toothpick is made of a soft type of wood. It is triangular in shape with a flat side and tapers to a point. Be careful not to pick or pry while working with the toothpick, as this could cause the toothpick to break. Moistening the toothpick with saliva reduces the risk of breakage.

Electric brush

In the past, people advocated brushing their teeth three times a day. Nowadays, twice a day is enough, but then you have to brush thoroughly. You can brush your teeth just fine with a regular toothbrush, but with an electric toothbrush you give brushing a little more effort. An electric toothbrush provides a more powerful effect and the rotating movement of the brush also massages the gums.

How long to brush

Swiping the toothbrush back and forth a few times is not enough. Two minutes is recommended, two and a half minutes is even better. Start on the inside of your upper teeth, which are the worst to be cleaned. Then the outside and bottom of your teeth. Then you repeat the entire procedure at the bottom. The advantage of an electric toothbrush is that it has a timer. Then you don’t have to think about how long you have been brushing, the brush will indicate this automatically.

Smoking and oral care

It is important for smokers to take good care of their teeth, for them it is even more important to take good care of their teeth than for non-smokers. Tobacco smoke releases toxins that are detrimental to oral hygiene. The good bacteria in the mouth are destroyed by these substances. It is therefore important to take even better care of your teeth if you smoke. Regular visits to the dental hygienist are also recommended.

Bad breath

It is very annoying if you smell from your mouth, this is usually caused by poor oral care. So make sure you brush thoroughly twice a day and that you visit the dental hygienist regularly. It is also important to drink enough water to keep your mouth moist. But there are even more causes of bad breath:

  • Inflammations in the mouth
  • Disorders in the nose or throat
  • Zenker diverticulum in the esophagus. This is a pocket-shaped bulge in the esophageal wall, in which food remains can accumulate and rot.
  • A strict diet
  • Smoking
  • Use alcohol, garlic, onions or other spices
  • A poorly closing muscle between the esophagus and stomach
  • Constipation and/or extra gas formation in the intestines


Relationship between oral hygiene and diseases

A link is seen between poor oral hygiene and cardiovascular disease, but also arteriosclerosis, strokes and infarctions. There may also be a connection with arthritis, pneumonia, osteoporosis and extreme fatigue such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). All the more reason to ensure good oral hygiene.


Who would have ever thought that migraine attacks could be related to the position of your jaw? It turns out that incorrect positioning of your jaws or teeth can cause headaches. Possible causes of incorrect positioning of teeth and jaws are late eruption of wisdom teeth or teeth grinding later in life.

White teeth

A radiantly white mouth is everyone’s ideal, but not everyone is blessed with radiantly white teeth. The color of the teeth is determined by the thickness and color of the dentin. The enamel that lies on top of the dentin is virtually transparent. The thicker the dentin, the yellower the teeth. Even as we get older, our teeth become discolored because the dentin becomes thicker. There are methods of teeth whitening, but these treatments must be repeated regularly because the effect is only temporary. There are do-it-yourself kits for sale, but we recommend that you prefer to go to a dentist. This can advise you about the risks of bleaching. It is an unnatural process and if used incorrectly, the gums or tooth enamel can be damaged.


Most people choose the toothpaste they like. The most important thing about a good toothpaste is that it is a non-abrasive toothpaste and that the toothpaste contains fluoride. There are also special toothpastes that have an additive. Toothpastes with whitener , enamel-strengthening toothpaste or toothpaste that helps prevent tartar. Naturally, the result depends on the regularity with which you brush. The more often you brush, the better the result.


If descaling acid has been in the mouth too often, too much and for too long, this can cause cavities to begin. This acid is caused by bacteria from plaque and sugars. The acids are neutralized by substances in the saliva. The damage is also repaired by the saliva. Brushing with fluoride also restores the disturbed balance. Especially when you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

Chewing gum

Chewing gum is not that bad, as chewing produces saliva. It is best to choose chewing gum with xylitol , because it has a disinfectant effect and helps fight unwanted bacteria. It is also important to choose sugar-free chewing gum.

Tooth enamel and acids

It is known that soft drinks are not good for you, but they are also quite bad for your teeth. Should we stop drinking soft drinks completely? Yes, of course, because it is really not good for anything, but it is very nice every now and then. When you suck the soda through a straw, damage to tooth enamel is limited. This way you protect your tooth enamel, because once tooth enamel has disappeared, it will never come back.

Do not brush immediately

We have been recommended for years to brush our teeth after meals, but is this really good for your teeth? It is best to wait twenty minutes after a meal before brushing your teeth. The tooth enamel needs this time to recover after an attack of acids and sugars in our food. These acids and sugars soften the tooth enamel. It is therefore possible to brush away the tooth enamel if it has not yet recovered from the meal. It takes some time to harden again.

To keep up with

As we get older, it is important to take better care of our teeth. The gums recede and the teeth need to be checked more often and better. Make sure you visit the dentist and/or dental hygienist every six months. Having a photo taken of your teeth once every twelve to eighteen months is not an unnecessary luxury, as any problems will come to light more quickly this way.