Training your kids to practice good oral hygiene is very important. This helps keep their teeth clean and cavity. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. In addition to this, using a mouthwash is also an essential part of good oral hygiene.
Benefits of Using Kids’ Mouthwash
Most people think mouthwashes are only used to prevent bad breath, but in actuality, there are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic.
Cosmetic mouthwashes are mainly for temporarily controlling bad breath and leaving a pleasant taste, and they have no chemical or biological application.
Even for kids, the most widely used mouthwashes are therapeutic. These contain active ingredients that help control dental conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, and tooth decay. Using a kids’ mouthwash gives your child fresher breath and increases their teeth’s protection from cavities.
However, some parents still have questions regarding the safety and proper use of kids’ mouthwash, which we try to answer below.
Should Kids Use Mouthwash? Are Toddler Mouthwashes Safe?
As a general rule, the American Dental Association (ADA) discourages the use of mouthwash for children younger than six (6) years old. This is because at such an early age, your child’s teeth are still forming. Fluoride, which is found in kids’ mouthwash, could lead to what we call fluorosis, which causes changes in the color and texture of your child’s teeth. In such a situation, white or brown spots and bumpy surfaces could develop in your child’s teeth. Further, at those ages, children are not conscious and knowledgeable enough to spit the mouthwash out and might swallow it, which is dangerous. For those below six (6) years old, mouth washing is only recommended in certain special cases and with the approval and advice of a dentist.
For children aged six and above, using kids’ mouthwash could greatly help in keeping their teeth healthy. Below are some safety tips in getting your child ready to use a mouthwash.
Make Sure Your Child Is Ready to Use a Mouthwash
The most important thing to consider before letting your child use a mouthwash is their readiness. Mouthwashes should be spat out after using them, and it may take some time for your child to understand this. To ensure that your child is ready, test your child’s readiness first by making them rinse their mouth with water, and ask them to spit it out into the sink. If your child is able to rinse properly with water, then you can start having them try a kids’ mouthwash.
Always Supervise Your Child
Even if your child is ready, adult supervision is still important for two reasons. First, doing this ensures that your child does not inadvertently swallow the mouthwash which, could be really dangerous. Second, it helps build the habit and the routine of properly brushing their teeth, flossing, and using a mouthwash in the morning and before sleeping. Such a habit is very important in maintaining oral health. Additionally, whenever a fluoride mouthwash for kids is used, it is recommended that you have your child use it at night, without rinsing it away with water. This way, it will be the last thing in your child’s mouth before sleeping.
Choose an Alcohol-free Mouthwash
Some mouthwashes contain alcohol, which is helpful in killing invasive bacteria in your mouth. However, while this is safe for adults, the same might not be the case for children. There is a risk that they might unconsciously swallow it, even in small amounts. As such, look for a kids’ mouthwash that is alcohol-free but works just as effectively in removing bad breath and killing harmful bacteria.
What Is the Best Mouthwash for Kids?
There is no single best kids’ mouthwash out there, given that there are tons of brands available on the market, all with different active ingredients. Choosing which one to use highly depends on your child’s needs. When buying a kids’ mouthwash, remember to look for products with the ADA seal of approval, which guarantees that it has been tested for effectiveness and safety.
More importantly, consult a dentist before using any product. Sunrise Dentistry has a holistic dentist in Durango, CO, who can help you with all your child’s oral health needs. Pay us a visit today and together, we can keep your child’s smile as radiant as the sun!