5 simple tips to a happy, healthy smile

(CNN) - A healthy smile is possible, if you're willing to do the work.

However it takes more than brushing your pearly whites to keep them strong.

Tip number one is that hard toothbrushes aren't the best.

"A soft bristle toothbrush, with very soft, very gentle circular motion actually cleans your teeth better, and it's safer because it's less abrasive to your teeth and gums," said Dr. Haress Rahim.

According to the dentist, there's an art to flossing.

"The best way to floss is to gently put the floss between the teeth and gently move up and down along the tooth surface. Versus snapping the floss in between the teeth which can actually damage the gums."

Tip number three, is that you should brush at least twice a day.

If you brush after every meal, wait awhile after you eat, especially if you had something acidic like spaghetti sauce.

Haress believes, "it's best to wait at least 30 minutes, and that's because that acidic component wears away the enamel and you want to wait before you brush otherwise you can actually damage the enamel"

He suggests you also try to stop smoking

"It can cause staining, it can cause bad breathe and it can lead to the accumulation of plaque."

Lastly, see your dentist twice a year.

"If you go to the dentist on a regular basis you can catch things early which means less invasive treatment and frankly less costly treatment."


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