Are You Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits?

A healthy smile starts with a good oral hygiene routine. Lynchburg, VA, dentist Dr. Kevin Midkiff can help you maintain good oral health. A oral hygienefew tweaks to your oral hygiene regimen can help you avoid cavities and gum disease.

Longer brushing time may mean fewer cavities

It only makes sense that brushing your teeth longer helps you remove more plaque. In fact, you may be leaving bacteria-laden plaque behind if you don't brush for at least two full minutes during your morning and evening brushing sessions. Getting rid of plaque doesn't just reduce your cavity risk, but also lowers the chance that you'll develop gum disease. Because plaque turns into tartar, a hard deposit that irritates the gums, you'll also protect your gums when you take enough time to thoroughly brush your teeth.

Flossing should be a daily activity

Did you know that only 40 percent of Americans floss every day, according to the American Dental Association (ADA)? Flossing offers a simple way to remove plaque that accumulates before your teeth and also frees trapped food particles that may contribute to bad breath. If you find string or tape floss difficult to use, consider using flossing picks, interdental brushes or water flossers instead.

Ingredients can make a difference in your oral health

Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste. The mineral helps you avoid cavities by rebuilding tooth enamel damaged due to acid attacks. Although most toothpastes contain fluoride, some flavored types don't. If you're unsure if the toothpaste you use includes fluoride, look for the ADA seal on the box when you shop at Lynchburg stores.

Don't forget to read mouthwash labels too. Mouthwashes that contain anti-bacterial ingredients, in addition to fluoride, offer double protection against cavities. Fluoride mineralizes weak areas of enamel while anti-bacterial ingredients kill bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

Excellent oral hygiene and regular dental checkups will help you protect your oral health. Call Lynchburg, VA, dentist Dr. Kevin Midkiff at (434) 239-8133 to schedule your appointment.