Brush and floss your teeth daily. This little bit of time you invest in your smile will pay off. Preventing problems starts with proper hygiene. It's easy, inexpensive, and you need to do it for a beautiful smile. Flossing is not difficult, but many people have a hard time doing it. Ask your dentist to demonstrate for you on a model of the mouth and to allow you to practice on that same model. You can also floss in front of the mirror in your dentist's presence so that you can learn how to floss properly. A toothache has been said to be right up there, if not worse than labor pains. For this reason, it is important to address a toothache at the very first sign of pain. Don't assume that the pain will just pass. Get it checked out to make sure there is not something more serious going on like an abscess, which can turn serious rather quickly. The toothpaste that you select is very important for maintaining a healthy smile. If the toothpaste you choose is fluoride-rich, this will help your tooth enamel be as strong as possible. It also will help reduce the chances of your teeth decaying. For whiter teeth, select a toothpaste with whitening properties. If you think your teeth need to be whitened, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will advise you on how to brush and floss your teeth efficiently and recommend some products you can use. In some cases, having your teeth cleaned by your dentist will be enough to make them look whiter. Are your gums getting softer, feel inflamed or look swollen? These are signs of gum disease. You should go to your dentist right away to have your gums inspected. You can overcome gum disease if you are ready to improve your oral hygiene and make some changes to your diet. If you are serious on dental care, now's the time to stop smoking if you smoke. Smoking stains your teeth and will cause tartar and plaque to accumulate on them as well. Cigarettes can also put you at risk for gum disease as well as oral cancer. So quit smoking now to ensure you will have healthy teeth to last a lifetime. If you have gum disease, you should postpone any plans to undergo cosmetic dental procedures. For the best results, your teeth and gums must be healthy. Otherwise, you will be more prone to infections, or may need to repeat the procedure. Avoid any dentist who is willing to take a chance on your health by risking this.