(BPT) - If you’re concerned about your oral health and looking to protect your physical and financial well-being, one of the easiest ways to do so is to practice preventive care. Attending bi-annual dental checkups and making smart oral health decisions can help you spot a concern well before it becomes an expensive problem.

Despite the obvious benefits of adhering to preventive care, many people forget this simple routine and risk bigger expenses down the road. Here are some easy tips you can follow to invest in a healthy smile and protect your oral health.

* Get serious about flossing. Daily flossing is one of the most important things you can do to improve your oral health. Floss helps to get down into the crevices between the teeth. This is where plaque resides. Daily flossing helps you remove this plaque before it turns into tartar.

* Find the toothbrush that’s right for you. As the main tool for scrubbing and brushing away unwanted plaque, the toothbrush tends to do the heavy lifting. Most dentists today recommend using an electric toothbrush. This allows you to give your teeth a better cleaning in less time, and it ensures you are brushing with the appropriate pressure.

* What’s your toothpaste of choice? With so many kinds of toothpaste, personal preference plays a big factor. Toothpastes vary by flavor, whitening power and other additional features, so it really comes down to your brushing goals. Whichever brand you select, make sure the box has the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp. This way you’ll know your toothpaste has been regulated and tested.

* Don’t forget the mouthwash. People tend to forget about this important last step in a mouth cleansing routine, but a recent Good Housekeeping study found that “More than 9 out of 10 respondents who are not currently mouth rinse users (93 percent) said they would use it if it could help improve their dental visits.” Look for a mouthwash like the new Crest Pro-Health Tartar Protection rinse. This rinse does more than just provide anti-tartar and anti-cavity benefits, it also helps to freshen breath, fights unwanted surface stains and strengthens weakened enamel.

* Your smile is affected by what you eat. There are many products on the market that that can help you whiten your smile, but you can also improve your pearly whites by making the right food choices. Eating strawberries, broccoli, apples and cauliflower, or drinking water and dairy products help to whiten your smile. Meanwhile, you should avoid drinking red wine, tea, coffee and cola, as these drinks can stain your teeth.

Maintaining good oral health doesn’t have to be hard. With the right tools and an established daily routine, you can ensure your minor oral health concerns don’t lead to major dentist bills in the future. To learn more ways you can improve your oral health, visit CrestProHealth.com.