How’s your smile? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about it very often. But you should— your smile is one of the first things 50% of people see when they meet you, and it speaks a lot about your personality. A bright, white smile makes you look younger, healthier, and more attractive. This is why it’s so important to make sure your smile is looking its best at all times!

Here are some time-tested tips on how to keep your smile bright and beautiful.

Always Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

You’ve probably heard this one a thousand times before, but that’s because it’s true! Brushing your teeth twice a day is the number one way to keep them clean and healthy. Be sure to use toothpaste with fluoride, and brush for two minutes each time. Brushing will help get rid of plaque and bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

Floss Every Day

In addition to brushing, you should also floss once a day. This will help remove plaque and food particles from in between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Use about 18 inches of floss, and wind it around each middle finger. Gently insert the floss in between your teeth, using a back-and-forth motion.

Avoid Carbonated Drinks

Some carbonated drinks contain phosphoric acid, which can cause tooth enamel to erode. If you can’t give up your soda habit, be sure to drink plenty of water afterward to help rinse away the acid. You should also avoid fruit juices and sports drinks, as they contain high levels of sugar, which could ruin your smile.

Avoid Foods that Stain

One of the fastest ways to ruin your smile is to eat or drink foods that stain your teeth. Coffee, tea, and red wine are all common culprits. If you can’t avoid them altogether, be sure to brush your teeth immediately afterward. Smoking is also a major cause of tooth staining, so if you’re a smoker, it’s time to quit!

Visit the Dentist

Visiting the dentist regularly is one of the best things you can do for your smile. A professional cleaning will remove all the plaque and bacteria from your teeth, and a check-up will help catch any dental problems early on.

Use Whitening Products Sparingly

Whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, and strips can all help to brighten your smile. But they should be used sparingly, as they can also damage tooth enamel. If you use whitening products, be sure to follow the directions carefully.

Avoid Using Teeth as Tools 

We’re all guilty of using our teeth as tools from time to time, but it’s not good for our teeth! Opening packages or bottles with your teeth is a surefire way to ruin your smile. If you need to open something, find the right tool for the job. Your teeth will thank you!

And there you have it! By following these simple tips, you can keep your smile looking its best for years to come.