You only get one set of adult teeth to look after and considering they need to stay with you for the duration of your life, it is really important to try and do what you can to keep them as clean and healthy as possible.
You can take advantage of schemes like those available through sites like carefreedental.com to help you with dental treatments but the main thing to try and do yourself is to adopt a regular routine in order to care for your teeth.
Good results take time
It is always worth remembering that when it comes to visibly seeing the results of your efforts to achieve good oral hygiene, results don’t happen overnight.
Achieving a bright white smile through practicing good oral hygiene will be a gradual process and this is mainly because the sticky film of bacteria known as plaque that forms at your gum line, is not something you can remove in just a few days.
Your aim should be to brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day and ensure that you back up this routine with regular flossing to get to the areas of your mouth that are hard to reach with your toothbrush.
Rinsing with a mouthwash will also help in your efforts to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but just remember, good results take time.
Develop and keep healthy habits
It is never too soon to start a healthy teeth cleaning routine and if you have children, starting them as early as possible will reap benefits as they develop their adult teeth.
You are actually at risk from getting cavities almost immediately the baby teeth appear and it is perfectly possible for cavity-causing bacteria to be transferred to your baby’s mouth by sharing the same spoon or toothbrush, so try to avoid this happening.
It is a good idea to demonstrate to your child how to brush their teeth properly and help them to do this when they are too young to do it themselves. By the time they reach about 7 years old they should be able to do the task proficiently themselves and hopefully they will have developed the healthy habits that will then stay with them into adulthood.
Understanding gum disease
Looking after your teeth is not just about achieving a bright white smile, although that is the reward for your efforts, but it is also about keeping the prospect of gum disease away from your mouth.
Gum disease occurs when there is a buildup of plaque along and under the gum line. This plaque will often be the cause of an infection that starts to hurt your gum and the bone structure that holds it in place in your mouth.
A common sign that you might have a gum disease is when they bleed as a result of brushing.
This issue is referred to as gingivitis and can generally be addressed by daily brushing and flossing, although you should get your dentist to check if the bleeding is persistent and regular.
You should also be aware that if you are suffering from a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis, this infection has the potential to destroy your teeth and gums if not treated, and could result in removal of teeth.
The art of brushing
Good oral hygiene is achieved through not only regular brushing and flossing, but it also depends on how proficient you are at brushing.
The basic principle of brushing your teeth is of course very straightforward, but so many of us struggle to do the job as well as we could do, which is why you would do well to develop the right technique in your battle to keep your teeth in top shape.
Your aim should be to brush your teeth on all sides with a soft-bristle brush and by using a fluoride toothpaste.
Try to use small circular motions combined with short back and forth strokes to get good coverage. Make sure you pay particular attention and take your time brushing carefully but gently along your gum line.
Also lightly brush your tongue as a way of helping to keep your mouth clean.
If you struggle with a normal toothbrush for whatever reason, consider investing in an electric toothbrush to help you with the task.
There is no question that your smile is an important part of who you are so it makes sense to ensure that you try and protect that by looking after your teeth.
Elsie Morgan works in public health and is always keen to promote good health practices. She is a regular online contributor for a number of relevant websites and enjoys sharing her suggestions on subjects like good dental health.