Keeping your teeth and gums clean is an important consideration for not just your dental health, but the health of your entire body. You want to have clean teeth not just because it looks attractive but also to keep bacteria and germs away.

Make a habit out of taking care of your teeth and you won’t have to deal with dental problems that are both painful and costly later. So let’s take a look at some of the best ways to keep your teeth clean.

If you want whiter teeth, you need to be careful about which techniques you use to accomplish this goal. Ask for your dentist’s advice or at least spend a little bit of time doing research before you listen to something that your friend says works or that you see on the Internet. For example, baking soda is often recommended for whiter teeth. Dentists, though, warn people not to use it very often. Baking soda is an abrasive substance; prolonged use can be quite damaging to your enamel on your teeth. Other substances that can also cause long term damage to your teeth are vinegar and lemon juice. Both of these are quite acidic and though they might whiten your teeth for a short period of time, eventually a lot of damage will be caused. It’s one of those times when, though they are popular, these home remedies might not be your best bet.

If you want whiter teeth, you may be wondering if whitening toothpastes really help. Toothpaste that make your teeth whiter are not always going to work in a proficient way. What they are very good at doing is removing surface stains, such as you get from drinking coffee or smoking too much. Anyone that uses tooth whitening toothpaste to remove deeper stains (such as caused by cavities) may not benefit from much. The regular usage of these products can actually cause a breakdown in the enamel of your teeth. It is up to you to look at the label on your toothpaste. This is the best way to understand what is in the tube, plus a little research along the way. Your dentist can recommend more effective tooth whitening procedures if this is something you want to pursue.

Mouthwash is a really great way to clean your teeth and the rest of your mouth–when used in concert with brushing and flossing. In addition to freshening your breath, it cuts down on plaque and gingivitis. You can either use medicated mouthwashes such as Listerine or herbal ones. Some of the natural mouthwashes have herbs that are great for cleaning your mouth like green tea, aloe and mint. Using a mouthwash at least a few times each day is a good idea if you want to make sure that your teeth and gums are in good condition. Studies show that using mouthwash can substantially cut the risk of getting gum disease, which is by itself a good reason to use it.

Everything you do that contributes toward keeping your teeth clean is worth it. You only have to spend a few minutes every day on actions like brushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth. Make sure you see your dentist twice a year as well. If you make it a point to practice good dental habits, you lower your chances of developing more serious dental problems.