Everyone knows the importance of caring for their teeth. Serious damages can cause you to lose them and treating dental problems can be quite expensive, which is why the best approach is still prevention. The following tips are what most dentists advise in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy, so that you can flash that beautiful smile even when you get old.

1. Know how to brush your teeth properly.

Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth three times a day, after each meal. You should also floss at least once a day to remove lodged food particles that cannot be removed with regular brushing. If you have sensitive teeth, choose a brand of toothpaste that is formulated for such. In addition, avoid using toothbrushes with hard bristles, as they can injure your gums and leave marks on your teeth. Find a brush with soft bristles, brush gently in vertical strokes, try to reach all areas, and do this for at least two minutes.

2. Go easy on teeth whiteners.

Most teeth whiteners that you find in drug stores contain hydrogen peroxide, which is actually what dentists use in their clinics. This does not mean, however, that it is perfectly safe. For example, a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide can cause sensitivity if you let the whitening formula sit in your mouth for too long. Try to follow the procedure on the label, avoid doing it too frequently, or better yet, have it done by your dentist.

3. Remember that your teeth are not tools.

It’s something that practically everyone does or has done: If you cannot open a bag of chips, you tear it open with your teeth instead of using a pair of scissors. Some would even go as far as using their teeth to remove the cap of a bottle of beer. This is very dangerous as it can result to broken, chipped, and/or knocked out teeth. The next time you feel the urge to do so, pause for a moment and tell yourself to reach for the proper tools.

4. Reduce your soda consumption.

Soda is not only rich in sugar, which attracts acid-producing bacteria in your mouth, but it is also acidic and too much of it can erode your tooth enamel. If you cannot help enjoying a can of your favorite soda, at least drink some water afterward to rinse off the acidity.

5. Do not chew on those ice cubes.

This may seem like an enjoyable habit, especially during the summer months, but it is actually bad for your teeth. Ice cubes are too hard and can cause your teeth to loosen. The cold temperature can also trigger pain caused by sensitive teeth. If you do want to keep that cube of ice in your mouth, just let it sit on your tongue or swirl it around the insides of your cheeks. Do not bite.

6. Be careful with your toothpicks.

Ideally, dental floss is better and safer when removing lodged food debris in between teeth. However, if you prefer toothpicks, then do it gently. It would be better if you do it in front of a mirror so you know exactly where you are poking that stick inside your mouth.

Unconsciously, you may be damaging your teeth with these habits that seem harmless. For the sake of your teeth, follow your dentist’s advice and thank them for helping you keep that winning smile.