The Weirdest Oral Hygiene Habits from Around the World


It is easy to imagine that oral hygiene habits would be similar from one country to the next, but oral health care can differ quite significantly. Consequently, people living in some countries enjoy much better dental health than others, making it a shame that the entire world isn’t on the same page when it comes to looking after teeth and gums.

In this article, we thought it would be interesting to look at some general dental health statistics listed below.

  • Nearly a third of adults over 65 have no natural teeth remaining.
  • Nearly 2/3 of children and nearly every adult worldwide has had a cavity during their lifetime.
  • No matter where you live in the world, some dental issues are the same. These include forgetting to brush and floss thoroughly, eating a diet too high in sugars, drinking too much alcohol or using tobacco.
  • Unsurprisingly, the countries with the worst dental care records are the most disadvantaged and impoverished.
  • Around 20% of middle-aged adults worldwide have suffered from or are currently suffering from severe gum disease. This condition called periodontal disease, can cause tooth loss and, equally concerning, can affect general health.

It’s tricky to say which countries have the best and worst dental care, but some data is available such as a fairly recent study that examined the dental health of the average 12-year-old. The worst countries for tooth decay or missing teeth were Poland, where the average 12-year-old has four missing or decayed teeth, followed by Hungary at 3.5 teeth, the Czech Republic with 2.5 teeth and South Korea with two teeth. The best countries where 12-year-olds enjoy good dental health include Denmark, Germany and Great Britain, with 0.75 missing or decayed teeth, followed by the Netherlands, with just one tooth missing or decayed.

Here in Australia, the risk of cavities is increasing in children between 5 to 10 years of age. Children between these ages have one and a half decayed, missing, or filled baby teeth on average.

You Don’t Need a Weird or Wonderful Routine to Have Good Dental Health

The simple truth is you don’t need to follow a weird or time-consuming routine to enjoy good dental health. Typically, it should take 10 minutes or less each day to look after your teeth and gums and maintain good oral health following a routine of twice-daily brushing and once-a-day flossing. The best time to brush your teeth is first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Brushing first thing in the morning ensures you remove the bacteria buildup when you get up, and brushing helps freshen your breath. Brushing your teeth last thing at night ensures you go to bed with a clean mouth getting rid of trapped and loose food particles and excess bacteria that can cause poor oral health. Finally, don’t forget to come and see us regularly for your checkups and hygiene appointments. Most people only need to come and see us every six months for an hour or so.