Your teeth were created to last a lifetime. They are extremely strong and with the proper care will remain vibrant and beautiful for many years to come. The following tips will help keep your teeth white and your smile as bright as possible. Good oral care will also prevent unnecessary trips to the dentist or orthodontist.

1. Know How to Brush Properly

Proper brushing strengthens the gums, cleans the teeth and keeps the breath smelling fresh. Teaching children proper brush techniques as soon as their first teeth appear, will help them establish lifelong habits that will promote good oral health care.

2. Floss at Least Once a Day

Flossing your teeth at the end of each day gets rid of any debris that is left behind after you brush. Proper flossing techniques allow you to get below the surface of the gums and deep between teeth where your toothbrush can not reach.

3. Use an ADA Approved Mouthwash

Using an ADA approved mouthwash not only helps to rinse away any debris that may be floating around within the mouth, it also kills bacteria that leads to gingivitis and bad breath. Rinsing after you eat sugary foods is important, especially if you can not brush. Another rinse before bed will eliminate any bacteria from growing as you sleep.

4. Eat Fresh Foods When Available

Fresh foods like apples, broccoli or pears keep the teeth strong. Much like muscles and other tissues, the teeth and gums will become stronger the more they are used. Fresh fruits and vegetables also provide much needed nutrients.

5. Avoid Using Any Type of Tobacco Product

Tobacco products can stain the teeth and weaken the gums. Cigarettes deprive the body of much needed oxygen. The gums need oxygen just like other tissues in the body and will begin to shrink if they lose vital nutrients. This allows the root of the tooth to be exposed and open to possible cavities.

6. Avoid Alcohol

Avoid alcohol whenever possible. Alcohol is full of sugars and empty calories. If you do consume an alcoholic beverage, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth thoroughly with mouthwash to prevent bacteria from building up on the teeth from the excess sugar.

7. Avoid Sugary Snacks at Night

Do not allow children to eat sugary snacks before napping or at bedtime. If they want a bottle, fill it with water instead of juice or milk. Sugary substances that are allowed to remain in the mouth for long periods can cause cavities and result in damage to the sensitive enamel.

8. Supplement Your Calcium Intake

Both Calcium and Vitamin D are essential to the health of your teeth. If you are not sure if you are getting enough nutrients in your diet, you may want to consider adding a calcium / magnesium supplement.

9. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

A good dentist or orthodontist will recommend having your teeth cleaned and checked at least once every year. A good dental exam includes a thorough cleaning, a fluoride treatment (if needed) and a discussion about your oral health that includes any helpful tips.

10. See the Dentist if You Have Any Kind of Mouth or Tooth Pain

If you experience any kind of pain associated with your teeth or gums, make an appointment to meet with your dentist as soon as possible. This will make sure whatever is wrong is corrected immediately, reducing the risk of tooth loss or damage.

Visiting your dentist or orthodontist regularly will help you maintain good oral health. Practicing positive lifestyle habits throughout the year will also help you protect your teeth from any potential risks when it comes to cavities and gingivitis.