A girl flashing a big smile while tossing her hair back

Taking care of your smile goes beyond pure aesthetics. Your teeth and gums are constantly exposed to bacteria that can lead to plaque, cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. According to the American Dental Association, is a gateway to because the mouth is an entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts. That bright, infectious smile is the bonus you get for being diligent about teeth cleaning and gum health. 

Here are five oral hygiene tips on how to clean your teeth and keep your mouth healthy, for a confident smile every time.

Replace Your Toothbrush Every Quarter

It can be easy to forget about your toothbrush. Even if it’s always in plain sight, you only truly see it twice or maybe thrice daily, and even then, we don’t really take the time to see how it’s doing. Checking on your toothbrush is important because it’s always exposed and can pick up all sorts of substances, from splashing water to household disinfectants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or whenever it starts showing evidence of wear and tear.

Limit Your Intake of Dark Drinks

Don't let your diligent teeth cleaning go to waste! If you want a brighter smile, avoid staining your teeth in the first place. Drinks like coffee, dark teas, sodas, and red wine stain teeth over time. It’s gradual, but you’ll see it. We don’t usually brush our teeth after getting an espresso to-go, so it’s best to skip the coffee run. You could also try using a straw for darker beverages, but who drinks red wine with a straw? Maybe switch to a nice Riesling instead!

Brush Your Teeth with Bacteria-Fighting Toothpaste — and Floss

Gum disease is the result of plaque buildup along your gum line. Harvard Health recommends brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing before bedtime, which helps prevent bacterial infection, reduce inflammation, and prevent gum disease. For fresh breath all day (12 hours!), use , which can improve oral health by boosting the enamel’s strength, thereby reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Zinc also fights sulfur gas, a.k.a. bad breath.

Here's one important note on how to take care of your teeth: choose a toothpaste that contains antibacterial zinc mouthwash recommended by the Philippine Public Health Association and the Philippine Dental Association, such as closeup All Around Fresh Cool Mint and closeup All Around Fresh Soothing Menthol variants. This mouth-cleaning product fights 99% of bacteria in your mouth with 3x more protection than non-zinc toothpaste and takes care of your top 5 oral care needs:

  • Cleans the teeth
  • Fights bacteria
  • Lifts plaque
  • Prevents cavities
  • Refreshes the mouth

Use Mouthwash Between Brushings

Mouthwash can help wash away food particles after meals. Since overbrushing can also lead to sensitive teeth and gums, mouthwash is a good way to keep your mouth clean without much friction. Again, choose a mouthwash that protects your teeth from bacteria and plaque. Look for zinc and fluoride on the label.

Don’t Forget to Smile

The biggest hindrance to a confident smile is not smiling at all, so choose confidence and flash a big one. According to Harvard Health, smiling exercises make your face more youthful-looking. In a study by JAMA Dermatology, doing regular facial exercises for 30 minutes increases the fullness of the cheeks in eight weeks. If that’s too much for you, a genuine smile is an instant lift anyway – and it’s free!

Take care of your oral health with these teeth-cleaning tips. Just doing the work will make you want to flash a big smile with confidence every time.