As a parent, you probably already know that your kids need to have their teeth brushed twice a day for two minutes, and flossed once per day. If your child is younger, you may need to do this for them, but if they’re older, they can handle oral care on their own.
But one tool that many people don’t incorporate into their children’s oral health care plan is mouthwash! In this guide from Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll discuss the basics about how to use mouthwash, its benefits, and more.
When Can My Child Start Using Mouthwash?
Kids should usually start using mouthwash around the age of 6. This is because at younger ages, kids may accidentally swallow mouthwash instead of spitting it out. Once your child is able to consistently rinse and spit with mouthwash instead of swallowing it, they can start using it as part of their oral care routine.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Mouthwash?
There are a few different benefits of using mouthwash for kids, including the following:
- Cleans hard-to-reach areas – Mouthwash can be swished around the whole mouth to clean hard-to-reach tooth surfaces, enhancing the effectiveness of brushing and flossing.
- Kills bacteria – Most mouthwashes contain an antiseptic ingredient that kills bacteria on contact. In turn, this helps fight back against plaque, cavities, and gingivitis.
- Freshens breath – Killing bacteria also helps freshen breath, and most mouthwash contains mint or similar compounds that provide your child with fresh, cool breath.
- Strengthens teeth – Mouthwash with fluoride helps “remineralize” teeth, attracting minerals to the teeth and preventing decay. Along with the fluoride in toothpaste, this can help strengthen cavity-prone teeth.
What Mouthwash Should My Kids Use?
If your child has a history of cavities or weak teeth, a fluoride rinse is the best choice. This type of mouthwash usually is purple. However, consult with your dentist. If your child is exposed to too much fluoride, this can cause streaks in their teeth (fluorosis), so you want to make sure you’re not overdoing it.
For all other kids, any kind of antibacterial or antiseptic mouthwash will be a good option. Choose alcohol-free mouthwash, since alcohol-based mouthwash can dry out the mouth, and ask one of our dentists if you’re not sure which brand or type of mouthwash is right for your kids.
Letting your child choose their own mouthwash is also a great way to make it fun! Kids love making choices on their own, so they’ll be more likely to use mouthwash consistently if they pick their own product.
When & How Often Should My Kids Use Mouthwash
Kids should use mouthwash at least once per day. Ideally, mouthwash should be used after flossing and/or brushing, since mouthwash can remove food particles that were not fully removed while brushing or flossing.
Got More Questions? Come To Sea Of Smiles For Pediatric Oral Care!
At Sea of Smiles, our dentists in Yardley, Bensalem, and Warrington are here to help you keep your child’s mouth healthy. If you have any more questions about pediatric oral care, contact us for a consultation right away, and get the information and guidance you need to keep your little one’s smile healthy.