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Do South Koreans brush their teeth?


South Korea is well-known for its advanced technology, K-pop music, and delicious cuisine. But, do South Koreans brush their teeth? Dental hygiene is an essential aspect of personal grooming, and it is crucial to maintain good oral health. In this article, we will explore the dental habits of South Koreans and find out if they indeed practice good dental hygiene.

History of dental hygiene in South Korea

The history of dental hygiene in South Korea dates back to the early 20th century when modern dentistry was introduced to the country. However, dental care was limited to only a few people as it was expensive and not widely available. It wasn’t until the 1960s that dental care became more accessible to the general population with the establishment of dental schools and clinics.

The importance of dental hygiene in South Korea

South Koreans place significant emphasis on personal grooming and appearance, and dental hygiene is no exception. A healthy smile is considered a sign of good health and cleanliness in South Korean culture. It is also important for social and professional interactions as a bright smile is believed to convey confidence and success.

The prevalence of dental diseases in South Korea

Despite the importance placed on dental hygiene, dental diseases such as cavities and gum disease are prevalent in South Korea. A study conducted in 2013 found that 93% of adults had at least one cavity, while 30% had moderate to severe gum disease. This high prevalence of dental diseases may be attributed to poor brushing habits, a lack of awareness about oral health, and a diet high in sugary foods.

The role of education in promoting good dental hygiene

To combat the high prevalence of dental diseases, the South Korean government has implemented several programs aimed at promoting good dental hygiene. These programs focus on educating children about the importance of brushing and flossing, the effects of sugary foods on dental health, and the benefits of regular dental check-ups.

The use of technology in dental hygiene

South Korea is known for its advanced technology, and it is no different when it comes to dental hygiene. Many South Koreans use electric toothbrushes, which are believed to be more effective in removing plaque and preventing cavities. The use of dental apps that track brushing habits and remind people to brush their teeth is also becoming increasingly popular.

Cultural practices surrounding dental hygiene

In South Korea, it is customary to brush one’s teeth after every meal, including snacks. It is also common for people to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with them wherever they go. Additionally, many South Koreans use mouthwash as part of their daily dental hygiene routine.

The role of diet in dental health

Diet plays a significant role in dental health, and South Koreans are known for their love of sweet treats such as candy and cakes. However, traditional Korean cuisine is generally healthy, consisting of rice, vegetables, and lean meats. Consuming a balanced diet that is low in sugar can help prevent dental diseases.

The impact of COVID-19 on dental hygiene

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on dental hygiene in South Korea. Many dental clinics were forced to close temporarily due to the pandemic, resulting in a delay in routine check-ups and treatments. However, the government has implemented safety measures to ensure that dental clinics can operate safely amid the pandemic.

The future of dental hygiene in South Korea

As technology advances and awareness about oral health increases, the future of dental hygiene in South Korea looks promising. With continued education and promotion of good dental habits, it is possible to reduce the prevalence of dental diseases and improve overall dental health in the country.


In conclusion, dental hygiene is an essential aspect of personal grooming in South Korean culture. While dental diseases are prevalent in the country, the government has implemented programs to promote good dental hygiene and improve oral health. By continuing to educate and promote good dental habits, it is possible to reduce the prevalence of dental diseases and improve overall dental health in South Korea.

How often do Koreans brush teeth?

The recommended toothbrushing method in Korea for the general population is called the 3-3-3 method, which involves brushing teeth three times per day for at least three minutes each time, within three minutes of finishing a meal. This campaign focuses only on the frequency and duration of toothbrushing.

Do Korean people brush their teeth?

Koreans start learning to brush their teeth several times daily from an early age. They are encouraged to brush their teeth for three minutes after every meal. It is common to see Koreans with a toothbrush and toothpaste set at their workplace.

Why do Koreans brush teeth after every meal?

Large, dark green areas on teeth may be misinterpreted as missing or extremely decayed teeth, or as an advanced fungal infection. Garlic is a commonly used ingredient in Korean cuisine, which could explain why Koreans tend to brush their teeth after every meal. This was reported on March 26th, 2015.

How do Korean clean their teeth?

In Korea, it is a common practice to carry oral care sets, such as toothpaste, toothbrush, and mouthwash, and brush their teeth after consuming coffee, snacks, or meals. It is a regular sight to see people queuing at office bathrooms in Korea to brush their teeth.

Which countries brush their teeth the most?

Brazilians have the highest belief worldwide that there is a connection between general health and oral health, with 94% of them sharing this view. Brazilians are also known for their good oral hygiene habits, with 52% of them regularly cleaning between their teeth, which is the best score in the survey. This information was reported in November 2021.

Why do Korean wash their hair only?

Koreans prefer to wash their hair daily due to environmental pollution, such as fine dust and gas emissions. In contrast, Americans tend to wash their hair every 2-3 days, believing it to be healthier for their hair.

In addition to the government’s efforts, the private sector has also played a role in promoting dental hygiene in South Korea. Many dental clinics offer advanced treatments such as teeth whitening, orthodontics, and dental implants. These treatments are becoming more popular among South Koreans who want to improve their dental aesthetics and maintain good oral health.

Furthermore, dental tourism is also becoming increasingly popular in South Korea. Many people from neighboring countries such as China and Japan visit South Korea for dental treatments due to the country’s advanced technology, skilled dentists, and lower prices compared to their home countries.

However, there are still challenges that need to be addressed in promoting good dental hygiene in South Korea. One of these challenges is the lack of access to dental care in rural areas. Many rural communities do not have access to dental clinics or dentists, making it difficult for them to receive regular dental check-ups and treatments.

Another challenge is the high cost of dental care in South Korea. While compared to other developed countries, dental care is relatively affordable, many people still struggle to afford regular dental check-ups and treatments.

Overall, promoting good dental hygiene should continue to be a priority in South Korea. With continued efforts from both the government and private sector, it is possible to reduce the prevalence of dental diseases and improve overall dental health in the country.

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