Many parents encourage their little ones to use mouthwash starting from an early age. Though it can be a beneficial part of his or her oral hygiene routine, you want to make sure your child is ready for it.
At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we stress that if your child hasn’t mastered the “swish and spit”, they are not ready for mouthwash. We don’t want them to accidentally swallow it so please make sure to always supervise. This is especially true for mouthwash with alcohol in it. Always purchase alcohol-free mouthwash for children. If you’re not sure if they’re ready, have them practice with water until their confidence grows.
All mouthwashes are not the same. They can serve several different purposes. Some are simply to freshen breath and others to have the added anti-cavity effect of fluoride. Kids with braces can highly benefit from an anti-cavity rinse in addition to their regular brushing and flossing. To get the optimal anti-cavity effect, always follow the instructions on the back of the bottle. With fluoride mouthwash, don’t eat, drink or rinse after. It’s best to do the rinse at night so that the active ingredients can stay in contact with the teeth longer.
Don’t forget that mouthwash is just an addition to your hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day and flossing will help keep teeth strong and beautiful!