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Why is oral hygiene important?

In this section you will find out why oral hygiene is the decisive factor in the fight against widespread diseases such as caries and periodontitis and what role professional tooth cleaning plays in this.

Oral hygiene is not about removing food debris. In a narrower sense, it is about malicious bacteria that nest in your plaque. Bacteria in the mouth are completely normal. There are more of them in each mouth than people on earth.

In simple terms, they can be distinguished as follows:

  1. Benign bacteria. They are not disease-causing and important for your oral flora.
  2. Malignant bacteria. These are disease-causing and damage your teeth and gums.

What is dental plaque?

Plaque is a very thin film of mucus that sticks to your teeth. It occurs at any time solely through the flow of saliva in the mouth and the intake of food. You can feel it with your tongue if you don't brush your teeth for a day. We will also show you later how to visualize the plaque in your mouth with plaque staining tablets.

How do bacteria and plaque behave?

The bacteria settle in the dental plaque; they live in it. There they can feed and multiply at breakneck speed through cell division. This leads to a doubling within 20 minutes.

Bacteria are now able to feed on plaque. Because they are living beings (unicellular organisms), they also excrete certain waste products after eating. In the case of bad bacteria, these waste products are acids or toxins. These attack the tooth enamel (then we talk about caries. More about that here.) and cause inflammation of the gums and jawbone (more about gingivitis and periodontitis here). This process repeats itself hour after hour and day after day.

The plaque has to go

Plaque is the cause of all evil. If you remove it, you deprive the harmful bacteria of the breeding ground. If bacteria can't "feed" themselves, they can't excrete harmful acids and toxins either. Caries and periodontitis hardly stand a chance. Plaque can only be removed mechanically – by thoroughly brushing the teeth and the spaces between them.

Act now

Plaque must be removed regularly once every 24 hours.

This is because the bacterial deposits regenerate quickly, and the harmful acids and toxins that form in them cause damage after 24 to 48 hours.

The dirt has to go

This is why it is so important to thoroughly clean your teeth and the spaces between them once a day. It doesn't matter whether you do thorough oral hygiene in the morning or in the evening. The second time brushing your teeth is then mainly for freshness. Repeated brushing is not necessary and can even injure the gums and tooth enamel if you work too briskly.

Why do you still have to get your teeth cleaned?

If you now thoroughly brush your teeth and the spaces between them every day, what is the point of professional tooth cleaning? The answer is: it is extremely important.

No one brushes perfectly and there will always be weak spots where you couldn't thoroughly remove plaque from your teeth, despite your best efforts. Regular dental cleaning (at least twice a year) has the following advantages:

Professional tooth cleaning

- Your teeth will be subjected to a "basic cleaning", including those areas that you have not yet cleaned thoroughly.
- Plaque that has hardened over time (tartar) is removed with special instruments (this is not possible at home).
- By “staining” the teeth, you are shown where your weak points are and where you need to brush better. Ideally, oral hygiene instructions should follow.

Why do you still have to get your teeth cleaned?

2 PZRs per year in your dental practice + 365 days of thorough home oral hygiene = a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums!

Good to know:

Without oral hygiene instructions, teeth cleaning loses value. This is also an important quality feature that you as a patient can use as a guide.

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