Managing your children’s oral health involves a daily reigeme of eating healthy, brushing and flossing to help stop bacteria from building up in the mouth and to stop cavities from forming, which is the ultimate goal. At World Pediatric Dental we strive to do everything we can as your children’s dentist to prevent tooth decay from forming in your child’s mouth. We get asked by parents the right toothbrush, toothpaste and floss to use for their children, but not many ask about mouthwash. (If you have not asked us which toothbrush/toothpaste/floss are best for your child ask us the next time you are in our office! Those three things are still the most important tools to maintaining proper oral hygiene for your kids.)
Along with brushing and flossing, mouthwash can help keep the mouth healthy, fresh and free of bacteria, but is mouthwash safe for your kids?
If your child is under 6 years of age the American Dental Association recommends that your child wait to use mouthwash. The reason for this is children under 6 might have a problem remembering to only gargle the mouthwash and not swallow it. A good way to see if your child is ready to use mouthwash is have them put water in their mouth, swish it around and then spit. If they are able to do this then they may be ready to use mouthwash.
When your child is ready to use mouthwash make sure to get a kid friendly product, one designed specifically for children. The reason for this is because adult mouthwash contains alcohol and is more harmful to a child if swallowed. Children’s mouthwash also contains fluoride, which as we learnt in a previous blog helps fight off tooth decay! A great way to get your child excited for mouthwash is have them pick a flavor they enjoy so they want to use it and that they will enjoy. Just make sure any mouthwash you get as the ADA seal so you know it’s certified by the American Dental Association. The ADA reviews mouthwashes for both safety and effectiveness. So look for that seal!
There are two types of mouthwashes, cosmetic ones just used to freshen breath and therapeutic ones that attack bacteria and help strengthen teeth with fluoride, so make sure you know which kind you are getting before you buy it.
And lastly just remember that mouthwashes do not replace brushing and flossing! Brushing and flossing are still the most important aspects of maintaining a proper oral hygiene for your child! If you are not sure which mouthwash is right for your kids please contact our office or the next time you are in our office ask our pediatric dentist or dental hygienist.
Have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below or call our office at any time. We are here to serve you.