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ImageDressed in your best. Check. Not a hair out of place. Check. Perfectly done up face. Check. Flash that killer smile? Uncheck.

Bad breath, yellowing teeth and chapped lips can mar even the most carefully done looks. It also affects your confidence to a great extent. If you thought brushing your teeth once every morning in a half dazed attempt is more than adequate care for your pearlies, think again. You can limit your visits to the dentist to regular cleaning sessions if you pick-up and maintain some tooth-friendly habits. There are no shortcuts to that dazzling smile but with a little effort, you can keep your mouth healthy and your teeth bright.

For teeth:
Fresh breath and healthy, sparkling teeth will induce confidence in your smile and help you navigate even through the most difficult situations everyday. Although you may have an arsenal of tooth care products, here are a few daily oral care tips that will help keep your teeth intact:

Brush it off: There's no excuse for not brushing twice a day. It would also help if you brush after every meal. Brushing regularly helps to remove plaque and bacteria on the tooth surface. These bacteria target the tooth enamel causing decaying teeth. Plaque hardens up to form a tartar build-up. It also damages gums resulting in gum diseases. Do not ignore the tongue. Bacteria lingers on the tongue as well. So brush it to prevent bad breath.

Flossing fever: Food particles have a knack of getting into unimaginable nooks and crannies between teeth. These are also the places where the bristles of toothbrushes do not reach easily. But dental floss does the trick. "Floss daily to make sure that these particles do not stay between your teeth for more than 24 hours," suggests dental surgeon, Nisha Khushalani.

Rinse: Antimicrobial rinses help a great deal to fight gum diseases and reduce bacteria in your mouth. Opt for flouride rinses as they work against tooth decay. You should give rinses containing alcohol a complete miss. Khushalani advises using mouthwash post breakfast and lunch and to avoid having water for at least half hour of using a mouthwash.

Diet: Eat nutritious foods that will keep your teeth healthy. A healthy diet does more than just keeping your waistline under check. It is a good dental care tool as well. Avoid snacking on junk and aerated drinks. The combination of sugar and soda is terrible. Snack on healthy, teeth-friendly foods like fruits, raw veggies, yogurt, etc. Foods like celery, apples, carrots, lettuce, etc. actually help in removing food particles and plaque. Khushalani adds, "End your meals with foods that will cleanse your teeth like cheese (because it has a high calcium content). Avoid ending your meals with sweets or sticky foods."

Hello doctor: Say hi to your dentist every once in a while. Regular clean ups help in detection of any teeth problems and treating them before they get serious.

For lips:
Dry, chapped lips that look like famine-stricken land are a complete turn off. Lips are the most delicate part of your body. Excessive usage of lip products and dry weather can darken lips and also render a lifeless look to them. Hence, you need to take extra care of your lips to keep them looking fuller and rosy.

Exfoliate: Gently rub your lips with a wet towel in a circular motion. Doing this will remove the dead skin as well as increase the blood circulation leaving your lips cleaner and softer.

Lip pack: Grind a few petals of the rose flower (around four or five) and make a smooth paste. Add a few drops of glycerin to the mixture and apply generously to the lips before you go to sleep. Wash it off with cold water next morning.

Lick me not: Do not lick your lips when they feel dry and chapped. It will make them drier and you might end up chewing the dry, flaky skin leading to bleeding lips.

Moisturise: It is essential to moisturise lips. So always carry a lip balm or chap stick along. Also, make it a point to apply a little lip cream before using a lip colour or lip gloss. Applying lipsticks on chapped lips looks really tacky.

Night cap: Since you tend to eat and drink during the waking hours, your lip balm gets washed away. It is a good idea to moisturise your lips before you hit the sack, so your lips will have ample time to get nourished and also repair the damage done all through the day.

Plump up: Want pouting lips without going under the knife or opting for botox shots? Try lip plumpers instead. Lip plumpers are like immediate botox for lips. It takes about 10 to 15 seconds to work. Apply them five minutes before applying lipsticks to get plumper, fuller lips. They are quite safe too. Luscious, kissable lips are an instant turn-on and maintaining those rosy lips is not so hard after all.

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