Should Kids Use Mouthwash and Why?
As our little ones get older and more curious about oral hygiene, you want to be fully ready to answer all of their questions. Kids are in general drawn to mouthwash due to its vivid colors and strong scent, but is it completely safe to let them use it?
Nowadays, there are plenty of child-friendly mouthwash options that you can choose from and ensure your child gets only the benefits of the product. However, there are some guidelines that you should follow to avoid any inconveniences, so we suggest you stay with us and learn how to recognize the suitable mouthwash for your child.
When Is the Right Time to Encourage Your Child to Use Mouthwash?
There is a universal answer to this question, and it’s backed up by the American Dental Association (ADA). For reasons that will be explained shortly after, it’s not recommended to let your child use mouthwash if under the age of 6.
It may be difficult to prevent them from swallowing it, and that may carry some health risks. For example, fluoride is a valuable and beneficial substance in mouthwash when it comes to both adult and child usage, but young ones under 6 may experience some negative reactions to it. Also, adult mouthwash usually contains alcohol, but you shouldn’t be worried about that when it comes to the products for the little ones, since they are free of it. Of course, always read the ingredients that mouthwash contains to be completely sure about it.
When the right time comes, the main thing is to supervise your child and give the right instructions for mouthwash use. This is mostly related to the age between 6 and 12 when you can practice the gargling together and have a great time while doing it. Another useful tip is to first try it out with the clean water – take a sip from the glass, swish it and spit it back. Let the little one repeat and when you notice that the routine is going well, let him or her use the mouthwash instead.
What are the Proven Benefits of the Mouthwash for Kids?
Now that we established whether your child is ready to use mouthwash or not, you probably want to know why you should add it to the oral hygiene routine in the first place.
Firstly, it gives a much-needed boost to brushing and flossing. Once your child developed a healthy habit of brushing and flossing, adding mouthwash to it will remove the food leftover particles and plaque. Possibly the best advantage of mouthwash for kids is that it prevents tooth decay. That is where the fluoride shows its power and helps the teeth get more resistant against cavities. This is especially beneficial for kids who have fixed braces.
Finally, it freshens your child’s breath, although it’s not its main goal. Mouthwash kills bacteria and protects the whites from acid that can lead to gum disease if not removed.
How to Choose the Right Mouthwash for Your Child?
Besides treating your little one with that fruity or bubblegum taste they love the most, it is significant to get fully familiar with the mouthwash ingredients.
The most important thing is to choose an alcohol-free product, for the obvious reasons. Alcohol in adult mouthwash is used as a stabilizer, preservative and a carrier method for menthol for the cooling sensations in our mouths that we like, but your child surely doesn’t need any of it.
Make sure to avoid products that contain sugar, gluten, or artificial color. The best way is to select the kid’s mouthwash with the natural ingredients and rest assured that your child is getting the most of its new mouthwash routine. On the other hand, letting your little one enjoy some exciting flavor from time to time will not do any harm.
If you are worried about the fluoride in the kid’s mouthwash, you can always decide on those which contain less amount of it. In most products, there is around 0.02% of fluoride included, so even if you go with those with the low sodium fluoride level (0.01), your child’s teeth will still be well-protected.
In the end, the safest option is to select the certified and ADA-approved kid’s mouthwash. There is a myriad of high-quality mouthwash for kids that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so whichever product you choose, its safety is guaranteed.
You can always turn to your trusted dental specialist and ask for advice. In many cases, mouthwash brings some important benefits to your kids’ oral health and it should be used frequently, while in others, you can limit the usage to a couple of times a week. Whatever the case, make sure to select the most adequate kid’s mouthwash that will keep your little one’s smile beautiful for many years to come.