Bad breath? Five things to know before going to a dentist in Amsterdam

Before seeing a dentist in Amsterdam because your friends ‘suggested’ this move, here are five things to know when bad breath is your problem and before you go seeking dental care in Amsterdam.

Just arrived in Amsterdam? Going to all kinds of get-togethers, shindigs and got a new job? Nothing can be more bothering for your confidence than bad breath issues (and you know, it can also really mess up any conversation literally). So before you seek out a dentist in Amsterdam, here are 5 things to know or try.

#1 Don’t eat all that herring with ‘uitjes’ (and various other Dutch treats)

Number one is a no-brainer, but oh so important, because although we at DutchReview love our little national fishie a lot – nothing will make you smell more than a raw herring with onions.

dental care in amsterdam
Dateless Dutch men

Think about it, it’s raw greasy fish and chopped onions – you’re totally going to reek after eating that one. Other typical Dutch products that can mess with your breath (and are also to be avoided before going to some dentist in Amsterdam) are:

Black licorice – this ‘drop’ might be delicious for some, it can also mess with your breath (especially salmiak) and make your teeth black for a moment. Especially when you just eat something all day long (like a bag of ‘dropjes) it can seriously mess with your mouth health because you don’t give ‘it’ any rest all day long.

Jenever – a hardcore clear spirit which kind of smells like a cleaning product, but does the total opposite to your breath.

Want some jenever to go with your herring and onions?

Leverworst – it’s got that typical smell, and that ain’t good

‘Broodje Kaas and koffie’ – The Dutch drink tons of coffee and eat loads of cheese sandwiches. This often tried combination  (50% of your real Dutch co-workers I reckon) isn’t the way to go for that much wanted fresh breath.

And not typical Dutch, but also really tasty, garlic! The oils from stinky foods like onions and garlic can be detected on the breath up to 3 days after consumption. So best to eat that kind of food in moderation as well.

No worries, as far as I know stroopwafels, hagelslag and bitterballen are in the clear. 

Is there anything you can eat to improve your breath? Well, yeah there is – eating some fresh parsley is what your grandmother would preach. And by chewing sugarless gum you can increase saliva flow, which in turn reduces plaque acid, strengthens your teeth and reduces tooth decay. 

#2 DIY mouth hygiene: toothpicking, mouthwash, flossing and tongue scraping

So you would expect a dentist in Amsterdam to advise you to floss mostly right? Well, kind of – but the advice I got was actually toothpicking – yes with one of those little wooden sticks. But do make sure to get the proper ones at the drugstore, the plastic ones or those much-loved cocktail picks aren’t the best for picking your teeth.

Works for foodhogging purposes – not for your breath

Flossing also works for cleaning your teeth, but it’s still better to do tooth picking, it removes more of that stuff that shouldn’t be here and massages your gums, which in turn is better for the overall health of your gums (and breath!). If you’re traveling and can’t find the right toothpicks then you can always resort to flossing.

And then there’s mouthwash – which looks like it could help with your bad breath but really has some negative side-effects, mainly because the alcohol-based mouthwash actually upsets the bacterial balance in your mouth. It’s best to use nature’s mouthwash brand, good old water! By drinking loads of water it will stimulate your saliva to regulate the bacteria in your mouth (awesome nature!).  So all in all mouthwash wouldn’t be the way to go.

When visiting Tandarts Jordaan, the dentist also told me that new studies say that enjoying 7 moments of eating and drinking could also help your mouth hygiene, so that might be something to aim for. And don’t forget to drink a glass of water after a meal, that will help too!

Last but not least, If all DIY fails, checking in at a decent dental hygienist can really help!

#3 Dental care in Amsterdam: don’t do all that drugs and drinking on Sunday before going to work on Monday

Have you gotten the idea that your breath has gotten worse since you came to Amsterdam? Well Sherlock, it might be that hanging around in a coffeeshop isn’t the best way to catch a fresh breath.

“How was your trip to Amsterdam honey?”

Furthermore, going to a rave or hanging in a ‘café’ drinking Heineken (‘plakje leverworst’ on the side) also aren’t helping. So don’t be that new international guy/girl/person that starts on Monday but has a terrible hang-over and equally terrible breath from their ‘tour through Amsterdam’ of the weekend – and no dentist in Amsterdam is going to solve that image-problem for you.

Also a pretty obvious one, but smoking can also cause bad breath, so it’s always a good one to stop with that bad habit.

#4 Bad gums are probably the root (HAHAHA) of your problem

Alright enough with the jokes, bad breath can be a serious condition (the sciencey name for it is halitosis) and the cause for it can also lie in the condition of your gums (instead of overdosing on herring and smokes). Gum disease or infection and the bad breath symptoms that come with it is something that creeps up on you. You don’t notice it because it’s developing slowly, but your friends and co-workers will know and this will cause extremely awkward situations where someone will have a chronic case of bad breath and nobody is willing to point this out. Think about it, we all knew at least. Think about it, we all knew at least one of these people at a workplace – or maybe it was just that one guy doing the ‘broodje kaas met koffie’ routine all day.

 yes seinfeld true kramer correct GIF

Anyways, besides brushing and toothpicking – what also helps is cleaning your tongue. An often forgotten routine when it comes to dental care, but that little weird pointy thingy on the other end of your toothbrush can do wonders for the quality of your breath in the long run.


dentist in Amsterdam
Yup! It’s clean!

Tried everything and still need some dental care in Amsterdam? Well…

# 5 If you need to go to a dentist in Amsterdam, look up Tandarts Jordaan!

Tongue completely cleaned and still need to go and visit a dentist in Amsterdam because of that bad breath? Well, might as well go for the best one around (since prices are the same). Tandarts Jordaan, in yes you guessed it – the Jordaan neighborhood – comes highly recommended.

This dentist in Amsterdam combines a state-of-the-art dental practice with great opening hours and special attention for you expat folk. They’ve also got a mouth hygienist in their practice, handy for you chronic bad-breathers, and they’ve got special attention and skills when it comes to halitosis and gum diseases.

And not that it matters that much if you’re seeking dental care in Amsterdam, but it looks the part as well:


? #tandarts #praktijk #jordaan

Een bericht gedeeld door TandartsJordaan (@tandartsjordaan) op


Tandarts Jordaan

Address: Westerstraat 176 

Website | Instagram | Facebook


  • We’ve worked together on this article with Tandarts Jordaan, because although we’re experts in bad breath puns we trust them a tad bit more when it comes to oral knowledge
Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱
Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱
Abuzer founded DutchReview a decade ago because he thought expats needed it and wanted to make amends for the Dutch cuisine. He has a Masters in Political Science and IT but somewhere always wanted to study history or good old football. He also a mortgage in the Netherlands and will happily tell you too how to get one. Born and raised in Rotterdam, Abuzer now lives in Leiden but is always longing back to his own international year in Italy.



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