A good looking smile is only possible if you have good looking teeth. Bright white teeth are healthy teeth and healthy teeth require daily care.

Dental care is as important to your health as exercise and a healthy diet. Studies have shown a relationship between poor dental hygiene and heart disease, and keeping your teeth and gums healthy helps to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, too. But you have to do more than just brush your teeth daily. Here are some dental care tips for keeping your teeth healthy.

First good oral hygiene is essential. That means brushing at least twice a day, although three times daily would be better. And flossing at least once daily. Seeing a dentist every six months to have your teeth cleaned and inspected for problems helps to prevent problems like gum infections and cavities.

Make sure you have good sources of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin C in your diet. Teeth, like bones, are composed mainly of calcium, so you need to eat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt or soy products to keep your teeth strong. They have to last a long time after all. And calcium cannot be incorporated into the teeth without vitamin D, which is also found in dairy products and soy. Vitamin D however also requires exposure to sunlight in order to function. Vitamin C helps to maintain the gums and connective tissues around the teeth, so citrus fruits and juices are helpful, too.

Speaking of diet, limiting sugary foods is not just good for your waistline, but also for your teeth. Sweets, such as candy and cookies, leave sugar in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach, encouraging the growth of bacteria that form plaque.

Some people have rather dry mouths because their saliva production is insufficient, either because they are old or because of disease or medications. But anyone can have a dry mouth if they are not well hydrated. Saliva is a major protection against the bacteria that cause plaque. So stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, but certain foods such as cherries, cranberries, lemons and limes encourage the salivary glands to produce more saliva.

Finally rinsing with mouthwash not only improves your breath, but washes out a lot of those nasty plaque forming bacteria as well. You need those teeth all of your life, so spend a little time and energy taking care of them and keeping your smile beautiful.