You may not think about your teeth very often, but you rely on them every day. Your teeth allow you to eat a healthy, balanced diet. They also allow you to speak and communicate your happiness through a smile. In order to keep your teeth healthy, you must practice good oral care. Your dentist's job is to assist you in that endeavor. Here are four things that dentists wants you to know about taking care of your teeth:

1. You should get a checkup at least twice a year.

Seeing your dentist regularly is the most important thing you can do for your teeth. Dental checkups allow your dentist to find problem areas that require treatment. During your biannual checkup, your dentist will polish your teeth, removing plaque and tartar that have built up over the last six months. An annual x-ray will help your dentist diagnose cavities and infections lurking beneath the surface of your gums.

2. You should have cavities treated as soon as they're brought to your attention.

No one ever wants to hear that they have cavities. However, ignoring the problem won't make it go away. Your teeth cannot heal themselves; once tooth enamel has been eroded by decay, it's gone forever. Still, you can keep the problem from worsening by seeking prompt restorative treatment. Schedule any necessary cavity filling appointments as soon as possible. During the procedure, your dentist will numb your mouth using an injection of local anesthetic. Most cavity filling procedures can be completed within an hour.

3. You should invest in tools that help you clean your teeth.

Home care is very important for the overall health of your teeth. Brushing and flossing your teeth will prevent plaque and tartar from building up on the surface of your tooth enamel. You will need the right supplies to support healthy oral care habits. Your dentist can recommend products to help. For instance, a soft-bristled toothbrush will clean your teeth without damaging your gums. Your dentist may even recommend an electric toothbrush for more efficient cleaning.

4. You should never hesitate to contact your dentist.

You may have dental concerns between your regularly scheduled checkups. If you develop a toothache or something doesn't feel quite right in your mouth, call your dentist's office at once. Your dentist will be happy to see you for an emergency appointment. You should never wait to address a dental concern.