Is mouthwash safe for kids? When should they start using it? We can help with all these questions!
Most older teens make using mouthwash a part of their dental regimen. When should younger kids start using oral rinses? How do you select the most effective product? This month’s blog helps to answer these questions.
Getting Your Kids to Use Mouthwash
Children under 6 should only take mouthwash with a dentist’s recommendation and parental supervision. Preteens between the ages of 6 and 12 may use oral rinses while supervised to make sure that they do not swallow the mouthwash by mistake.
Young children should avoid mouthwashes with fluoride. Although fluoride prevents tooth decay in older children, it can cause fluorosis–a disorder that damages the enamel and discolors younger teeth.
If you are unsure of best time or technique to get your child to start using mouthwash, please contact us.
Not All Rinses Are Identical
Before selecting a mouthwash for younger family members, you should know the difference between cosmetic and therapeutic rinses, as well as the purpose of pre-brush versus post-brush rinses.
Cosmetic rinses give teeth a “clean” feeling and curb bad breath. Therapeutic rinses treat plaque, kill bacteria, and help to prevent gingivitis.
Pre-brush rinses have gentle formulas and leave colorful marks on the teeth to show kids where they should focus on brushing. After brushing on those spots, the colors go away. Post-brush rinses have stronger formulas that fight plaque and cavities and also work against bad breath.
Rinses for younger children come in flavors that kids enjoy, such as berry or bubble gum. They usually do not contain alcohol.
Things I Should Consider When Selecting a Mouthwash
Select a mouthwash that carries the ADA Seal of Approval and a child-resistant cap. Also, remember that using mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing or flossing. If you have questions, let us know!