When it comes to preventing cavities, the conventional tips are the ones that work best – brush and floss daily. However, how you brush and floss can be just as important as if you brush and floss, and there are some helpful tips to hedge your bets.

Always spend two to three minutes brushing your teeth. Two to three minutes is roughly how long it takes to get rid of the bacteria that destroys tooth enamel. Do not brush too hard – it takes very little pressure to remove bacteria and plaque. Floss at least once a day. Flossing is the only way to get bacteria from between your teeth.

Watch the sugar you eat. There is sugar in candy, fruits, crackers, chips, and many others, and foods with a high sugar content are those that the bacteria in your mouth like best. Additionally, be mindful of foods like raisins and peanut butter that stick to your teeth. They can provide a constant supply of sugar for the bacteria eating into your teeth. Try to minimize the times during the day when sweet items are eaten and brush your teeth afterwards.

If you cannot brush after a meal, rinse your mouth with water – this is simple, but can be helpful in removing food from your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum after a meal can also help. Chewing deescalates the flow of your saliva, which acts as a natural plaque-fighting substance. And don’t forget your regular dental visits. Good dental habits will go a long way toward a no-cavity visit.