When it comes to kids taking an interest in their oral health, parents should always be on the lookout for ways to help encourage better care of their children’s teeth and gums. While brushing and flossing remain the best ways to prevent the development of tooth decay and gum disease, older children may start to express an interest in using mouthwash as part of their daily oral hygiene routine. Offering the best dentistry for children Vancouver WA has, the Dentists and team at Must Love Kids would like to inform you on this popular topic.
Whether this interest stems from a desire to keep their breath fresh now that it matters a little more what their classmates may think or because they want to copy what mommy or daddy do, parents should judge the pros and cons of whether their child is the right age to use mouthwash before giving their permission. Here’s what you should consider when deciding whether to let your child use mouthwash as part of his or her oral hygiene routine.
For preteen and teenage children, especially those with braces, mouthwash and other fluoride mouth rinses offer a great way to help protect their teeth from acid producing bacteria that causes decay and gum disease.
Because wearing braces makes it difficult for kids to adequately clean their teeth using just a toothbrush and floss, mouthwash can help to remove built up plaque from areas of the mouth, such as around the brackets and wires, that a toothbrush can easily miss. By taking a three-pronged attack against plaque, kids who brush, floss and use mouthwash should adequately protect themselves from the effects of decay while wearing braces, helping to ensure a successful treatment and strong, straighter teeth in the end.
While mouthwash makes a great tool for older kids in protecting their oral health, younger children should avoid using oral rinses unless under the direct supervision on an adult.
Children between six and 12 years of age should only use a mouthwash when in the presence of an adult to make sure the product is being used correctly. Children under the age of six should use oral rinses only when recommended by a dentist. A factor to consider is the child’s ability to swish and spit the mouth rinse. At times the mouth rinse can be applied by dipping the toothbrush in the mouthwash and brushing it on the teeth.
Younger children who receive excessive exposure to fluoride over extended periods of time run the risk of fluorosis, a cosmetically damaging condition that causes teeth to appear spotted or streaked. Rather than allow their kids to use mouthwash only, parents of younger children should assist with brushing and flossing their kids’ teeth to ensure a clean and healthy mouth.
Whenever a Fluoride mouth rinse is used, its most effective at night, keeping in mind that it should not be rinsed away with water, so the last thing before going to bed should be the Fluoride rinse (and of course no midnight snacks!).
Sometimes a dentist may prescribe medicated mouth rinse to treat or prevent various dental problems.
Maintaining a Healthy Smile
Parents who worry about the alcohol content certain brands of mouthwash contain should consider using an alcohol-free brand that work just as effectively at freshening breath and killing harmful bacteria. Parents can even find non-alcoholic brands that contain fluoride, as well.
Regardless of what type of mouthwash a child uses, parents need to stress the fact that using an oral rinse does not replace the need to brush and floss. While using mouthwash offers great additional protection against plaque, it doesn’t replace what brushing and flossing provide when it comes to keeping teeth and gums healthy and strong.