It is important to give your mouth a little TLC to prevent bigger problems later on in life. A couple simple things done everyday can help in a big way.

My mom used to say that she was going to wash my mouth out with soap and water. I don't think that is what they meant when experts suggest you to clean up your mouth, but I am sure I deserved it.

I recently read that more than 50% of women notice a guys smile first. Men's Journal has compiled a list of some ways to help clean up your mouth.

Look out for Gingivitis
Besides red, puffy, bleeding-prone gums, there are other signs you've got gingivitis, says periodontal researcher Robert Genco: Your teeth have gotten "longer" that means your gums have receded, you have a black line etched on your gums, that's a tartar stain, or your breath isn't quite as fresh as it used to be.

Don't rely on Mouthwash
It may temporarily freshen your breath, but mouthwash doesn't not control plaque and ensure oral health, Genco says. The only exception? A mouthwash that contains chiorahexidine, a chemical that kills bacteria and reduces gum inflammation but may also leave a brown stain on teeth.

Let your Diet do some of the Work
Roughage, in foods like raw celery, carrots, and apples, naturally brushes away food particles and reduces plaque adhesion, says Anamria Pontes, nutritionist at the Tribeca Center for Integrative Dentistry. And herbs and spices, cardamom, fennel, cloves, and cinnamon are proved to decrease oral inflammation, inhibit bacteria growth, and a nice bonus give you fresher breath. Supplements have their place, too: Turmeric and omega3s are inflammation fighters, and vitamin D enhances your body's ability to synthesize calcium, essential for the health of your teeth and the bones that hold them in place.

Brush Smarter
The ideal twice-daily routine goes like this: Spend two minutes lightly brushing with an electric or manual toothbrush either one can work ; just make sure you hit ever tooth, and keep your jaw relaxed. If you open wide, you miss some of the molars in the bock of the mouth. Finale: Scrub your tongue or use a tongue scraper. Oral bacteria collects there, too.

Floss this This
For flossing to have the most benefits, you have to work the floss vigorously between teeth to get underneath the gum-line, where pockets can form. Don't be deterred by blood; that clears up with regular flossing.

Smile!

[via: Men's Journal]