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Brushing and Flossing for Kids - Great Grins in Portland, OR


Happy little girl after some brushing and flossing tips from Dr. MutschlerBrushing and flossing your teeth are the best ways to have your be teeth sparkling white and cavity free, your gums look good, and your breath smell swell.

How does brushing and flossing work?


Dental disease is caused by germs, many types of bacteria and yeast, to be exact. The bacteria stick to teeth by making a sticky waterproof glue that surrounds the germs and holds them tightly to the tooth. This combination of germs and glue is called dental plaque. Bacteria are present in every mouth and they multiply and grow by eating the same food that you do. The problem is that after they eat, they make wastes – germs poop! Their waste is lactic acid and this acid will dissolve tooth enamel and make a hole (cavities). Once there is a hole to hide in, the germs are much harder to clean off the tooth and they grow even faster, making more acid, and making the cavity even bigger. Over months and years, the cavities can grow big enough to cause tooth aches and even dissolve the whole tooth right down to the gums. Wow.

To prevent this disappearing act, we need to brush and floss to remove the dental plaque. Because the plaque is waterproof, just swishing with mouthwash does not work. It is like a bit like Vaseline petroleum gel on a mirror; throwing water at it just smears it around. You have to physically wipe it off with a wash rag or paper towel to get the mirror clean. For your teeth, we use a toothbrush to rub the top and sides of teeth and we use floss or a toothpick to rub clean between the teeth. To do a complete cleaning job, you need to use BOTH.

Flossing is one of the most important oral health activities that you can teach your child. In fact, flossing is more important than brushing. Our kids would sometimes go to bed late and to save time with the bedtime routine, we would have “Floss and Fluoride” nights and skip the toothbrushing. Now this was rare, but it demonstrates that we choose flossing over brushing in importance.

Floss comes both in boxes of long strands that you use your fingers to hold or you can buy the disposable floss handles. Floss handles make flossing much easier for parents because some small children can bite your fingers if you try to floss using fingers. Our office gives out floss handles that are reusable (so there is less plastic waste than the disposable ones) and it is cheaper too. Whichever type of floss you use, just USE IT.

If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at (971) 470-0054.
My daughter was a little nervous to have her dental work done but everyone in the office was super friendly and very reassuring and that helped her nervousness go away. Thanks for the excellent dental experience. ~ Lilyana G.


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Great Grins for KIDS Portland, 13908 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR, 97233-2161 - Associated Words: childrens dentist Portland OR \ Dr. Mark Mutschler Portland OR \ pediatric dentist Portland OR \ (971) 470-0054 \ www.portlandchildrensdentist.com \ 4/26/2019