Everyone knows the power of a dazzling smile. It can boost your confidence, make you more attractive, help you to make a good first impression, and generally improve your mood. Not to mention, a genuine and beautiful smile is contagious – so it can improve other people’s mood too!

Keeping your teeth clean and healthy is a huge part of ensuring that your smile is a winning one, and also helps you to avoid painful problems such as toothache and gum disease. Luckily there are some simple steps you can take to improve your oral health and get those pearly whites gleaming. Read on for some top tips.

Focus on your toothbrushing technique

Most people know by now that you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day (ideally first thing in the morning and before bed). However, you also want to make sure that you’re brushing them correctly. You should brush for two minutes each time, using a circular motion across the front, back and top of every tooth – ensuring you focus on the gums too. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when brushing and replace your toothbrush every few months (or whenever it looks frayed) for the best results. Electric toothbrushes can not only brush more effectively, they’re also great for monitoring your brushing time and warning you when you’re brushing too hard and potentially damaging your teeth.

Practice good dental hygiene

Good dental hygiene is about more than simply brushing your teeth. You also want to be flossing daily, because this is an effective way to remove bacteria, plaque, and tiny particles of food that get stuck between your teeth. Moreover, studies suggest that flossing regularly can help to reduce instances of both gum inflammation and gum disease – which has been linked to a host of medical conditions including osteoporosis, stroke and heart disease. Lastly, using mouthwash as part of your dental routine can offer further protection for your teeth and also prevent bad breath.

Visit the dentist regularly

Having frequent dental appointments is key for good oral health. This is because dentists can spot problems you can’t, for example by taking X-rays to check for issues such as damage to the jawbone. They can also clean your teeth far more thoroughly than you can at home, removing any tricky build-ups of plaque and tartar. For those who truly want the perfect smile, it might also be worth visiting an expert orthodontist to discuss straightening your teeth. Aim for a check-up every six months or so, or more often if you’re experiencing any dental issues.

Eat a healthy diet

Being careful about what you eat and drink will also help to keep your teeth in top condition. As an example, you probably already know that it’s best to avoid sugary snacks and sodas. Sugar can damage your teeth by causing the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid that attacks tooth enamel, which over time may lead to cavities. It’s also best to avoid alcohol, as this can dry out your mouth and erode the outer surface of your teeth. Instead, consume plenty of fresh vegetables, and drink lots of water to keep your mouth clean between brushings.