Good oral hygiene

Healthy teeth not only give you a radiant smile, it also influences your general health.

You keep your teeth healthy thanks to good oral hygiene. Brushing well at least twice a day with the right tools is very important.

Toothbrush and toothpaste


  • A good toothbrush has a narrow, short brush head . This way you can easily reach everything.
  • If the bristles of the toothbrush separate, it is best to replace it. In any case, replace after three months.
  • Choose a toothbrush that is not too hard .
  • The handle should fit comfortably in your hand . There are adapted, smaller versions for children.
  • An electric toothbrush can help with good dental hygiene. Still, you should also brush with an electric toothbrush for at least two minutes and make sure you brush all surfaces of all teeth thoroughly.
  • After brushing, rinse the brush well , dry it and place it in a cup or container with the brush head upright. Store each brush separately . A holder or cup where all the brushes sit against each other is not recommended.


  • A little toothpaste, about the size of a pea, will suffice. Too much paste will foam, so you can't see where you're brushing.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride . This protects the tooth enamel and makes it stronger. It also helps to close weak spots in the enamel. For children, use a children's toothpaste with a maximum of 1,000 ppm fluoride. You can use regular toothpaste from the age of six.
  • Toothpaste contains abrasives that make it easier to remove plaque. Do not use toothpastes that contain additional abrasives (e.g. smokers' and 'white teeth' toothpastes). With prolonged use, they can cause visible damage to the enamel.

Brushing your teeth


  • Brush the teeth thoroughly at least twice a day . Take at least two minutes for this.
  • Be sure to brush your teeth in the morning , before or after breakfast and in the evening before going to sleep.

Bleeding gums indicate inflammation of the gums. This is usually due to insufficient oral hygiene and is therefore no reason not to brush. On the contrary. A visit to the dentist is usually indicated to address the underlying problem.


  • Brush the teeth on a regular schedule so as not to forget any places.
  • Place the toothbrush horizontally with the bristles at an angle to the gums. Make sure the brush touches the gum line, as plaque tends to collect there.
  • First brush the outside and then the inside of all teeth. Make small circular movements on the spot and do not put too much force on the toothbrush.
  • For the /node/2681 inside of the incisors, hold the brush vertically with the bristles at an angle.
  • Finally, brush the chewing surfaces with a back and forth motion.

You do not need to brush the gums themselves . After all, the cells of the gums regenerate quickly, which ensures that bacteria do not accumulate.

Poetry card for children

Do your kids need a reminder not to skip a brush? Choose a nice cleaning card from Ben the Beaver.

Clean space between teeth

Even with good brushing, the spaces between the teeth and between the teeth and gums are not sufficiently cleaned. Unfortunately, plaque easily accumulates in those hard-to-reach spaces.

Cleaning these spaces is therefore very important to avoid cavities and gum disease. Do this once a day before brushing your teeth. There are adapted tools for this. Discuss with your dentist which aid is most suitable for you.

Dental floss or floss

With dental floss or floss you remove the dental plaque in places that you cannot reach with the toothbrush.

  • Use a wire of about 40 cm . Wrap the ends loosely around the middle finger. Hold a piece of a few cm between thumb and forefinger.
  • Pull the taut thread over the point of contact between the teeth and pull it firmly against a side surface . Make back and forth scrubbing motions from the point of contact to the gum and back. Then do the same with the side surface of the tooth next to it.

Flossing requires some skill . Ask the dentist to show you how to use dental floss. The use of dental floss is not recommended in children .


The dentist can also recommend toothpicks and teach them how to use them. A wooden toothpick with a triangular shape and a flat side is best adapted to the space between the teeth and therefore gives the best result. Choose a toothpick with a point that is not too sharp .

The use of toothpicks is not recommended in children .

Other tools

There are other tools for brushing between the teeth, such as brushes or adapted toothbrushes. Ask your dentist for advice.

Brushing tongue

Many bacteria also grow at the back of the tongue and plaque is formed. Brushing the tongue is therefore part of good basic oral hygiene. It also helps against bad smelling breath.

Brush the tongue daily , following brushing the teeth. This can be done with a regular toothbrush or tongue scraper , but do not use toothpaste. Go over the back of the tongue twice. Start as far back on the tongue as possible and brush or scrape forward in one motion.

Brushed well?

Well-brushed teeth do not necessarily look bright white. The teeth must be smooth .

A sticky detector helps to test whether you have brushed properly. This is a tablet or liquid with blue or red dye that colors the dental plaque. Plaque detectors can be purchased from pharmacies .

  • Chew the tablet finely after brushing.
  • Using the tongue, spread the dye around all the teeth.
  • Wait a moment, spit out the remaining dye and rinse the mouth.
  • Dental plaque that has not been completely brushed away will absorb the color of the tablet or liquid. The places where it has not been cleaned properly become visible in this way.

It is better not to use a sticky detector on children under the age of six.