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The holiday time gives plenty of chances for snacking on sugary treats. This can be fun occasionally, but it also makes it even more important to keep up on the basics of dental hygiene.

Brush: The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, two times a day. Use tooth-wide, back and forth strokes with a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Choose either a standard or an electric toothbrush; either one will work well, with the proper technique. Brushing is the foundation of good oral hygiene–make sure to not skip any sessions!

If you struggle making enough time for your teeth, try setting a timer for the full two minutes. Brush at the same time as your partner for some one-on-one time. Or make it a family affair! Brushing with kids can be fun. Going this route also helps develop excellent oral hygiene habits to last a lifetime.

Floss: Flossing cleans food particles and plaque away from teeth that your brush cannot reach. Flossing is vital for good dental hygiene, even for very young children. In fact, flossing should start as soon as a child has 2 teeth that touch! It should continue throughout your life. Floss once per day, for 2-3 minutes each time.

Mouthwash: Some people choose to add mouthwash, also called mouthrinse, to their daily dental hygiene routine. If you choose to do so, buy a therapeutic mouthwash (not a cosmetic one) with the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging. This guarantees a quality product. If you choose to avoid alcohol, read labels carefully, as many mouthwashes have high alcohol content. Never give mouthwash to children under 6 years old.

For more information, call Paul Vartabedian, DDS in Lakeport, California, at 707-263-1496. Dr. Paul Vartabedian and our team are happy to help you have a fantastic smile this holiday season!