Preserve your smile with these hygiene tips and a special offer for back to school

Published On: Jun 17 2013 12:00:00 PM CDT
Wichita, KS -

You don't have to have insurance or a lot of money to take care of your smile. The best way to prevent dental problems is with regular brushing, flossing and tongue cleaning. It's important to use the right techniques when working on your oral hygiene. Dr. Milligan of Milligan Dental Associates in Wichita, Kansas has tips for getting the most out of your brushing routine.

The first step is using the right tooth brush- you want to be sure to use a soft-bristle brush so you don';t damage or irritate gums. When you brush, concentrate on the gum line, where gingivitis starts. Use fluoridated toothpaste to strengthen tooth enamel, and brush for several minutes to make sure you removal all plaque.

Flossing between your teeth is almost as important as brushing. Flossing massages and exercises gum tissue, which prevents swelling and bleeding, and it removes food particles that can't be reached with a toothbrush. To floss appropriately, use about 18 inches and move down the length of the floss as you go, always using a fresh section between each tooth. Curve the floss around each tooth, and be sure to go under the gum line.

Cleaning your tongue is something that's often overlooked, but you should always clean it when you brush your teeth. The tongue is a haven for bacteria associated with mouth odor, and brushing it removes the bacteria. You can just use your toothbrush, or you can invest in a tongue scraper.

After brushing your teeth and tongue, and flossing, you should rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash. All of these steps will leave you a clean, fresh smile.

Everyone knows they're supposed to brush their teeth after every meal, but that's not always possible. If you aren't able to brush, there are a couple things you can do to keep away bacteria and help freshen your breath. First, rinse your mouth with water- this will help remove left over food particles that bacteria can grow on. Then you should chew sugar free gum, which is shown to reduce the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth.

Oral health is especially important for children- the best way to avoid gum disease is by mastering good oral hygiene at a young age. Caring for baby teeth is often overlooked by parents because they know the teeth are just going to fall out and be replaced. Baby teeth are important for a child's development, so you need to take care of them. Baby teeth help children learn to speak clearly, chew properly, and hold space for future permanent teeth to grow in straight. Also, a child without tooth pain will learn better in class. Babies usually start to get their baby teeth between 6-10 months of age, and have them all by 3 years old. It's important to start brushing as soon as the first tooth comes in.

Milligan Dental Associates want to be sure everyone has access to good dental care. They accept most insurance, and for those without insurance, they offer payment plans. Right now, Dr. Milligan is running a back to school special. Children in kindergarten through 12th grade can get 2 x-rays, a full cleaning and an initial exam for only $49. This is a $189 value, so don't miss out. Call Milligan Dental Associates at (316)686-3397 to schedule an appointment, or visit them online for more information at