Being a parent of kids means a lot of questions that you need to find answers to. One of them is which mouthwash is right for your kids.
You know all too well that the oral healthcare habits that a kid is instilled with in their earliest years will likely turn into lifelong habits that have more impact on the health of their teeth and mouth than nearly anything else.
As such, you want to get them in the habit of not just brushing twice a day or more, but also flossing and using mouthwash on a regular basis.
The first thing that you need to do is figure out what kind of needs you’re trying to fill with adding mouthwash to the oral care routine of your kids.
Mouthwash products available in the modern market are diverse and tremendously versatile. Are you just wanting for them to clear up their bad breath? Or are you looking to help them reduce their tooth decay and strengthen their enamel?
When you know just what you’re looking for in your mouthwash, then you’re going to be in a much better position to pick a good one for your kid.
There are primarily two kinds of mouthwash that are available. The first is cosmetic, and the second is therapeutic.
Cosmetic mouthwash reduces bad breath and can give your mouth a pleasant and clean taste. On the other hand, cosmetic mouthwash might just treat the symptoms of bad breath. That means it can act more like a masking agent that will just overcome bad breath.
On the other hand, therapeutic mouthwash can help with the treatment of tooth decay while reducing the buildup of plaque and preventing gingivitis. It might freshen the breath of your kids as effectively as cosmetic mouthwash, but it can still help ward off the many causes behind bad breath.
Before you incorporate any mouthwash, therapeutic or cosmetic, into your kid’s oral health routine, you should call your children’s pediatric dentist and talk to them about it.
There are fortunately many mouthwashes that are specially designed for kids to use, and many of them don’t have any alcohol in them. Mouthwash for kids is typically therapeutic and will take care of any bad breath that is present. Such mouthwashes also tend to come in flavors that kids love, often also featuring favorite superheroes or cartoon characters. Kid’s mouthwash can help fight cavities as well as help improve their enamel strength.
At a minimum, be sure that any child’s mouthwash that you buy has the ADA seal of approval. That can help you find a certain mouthwash that’s been tested rigorously as well as approved by a reputable and legitimate association which advocates for good oral health.
When can kids start using mouthwash?
That might be another one of those million questions you have to find answers for. The short answer is when your dentist says they can. In lieu of that, the more general guideline is that mouthwash shouldn’t be used by kids who are 6 years of age or younger. Swallowing hazards are too prevalent. There might be instances where mouthwash gets prescribed for kids under 6 years old, but these are exceptions that only happen in special cases which your dental office would be mindful of and responsible for.
Of course, the best thing you can do to answer this question is to consult your family dentist to get their recommendations. If you have kids of different ages in the family, then you might have to get different recommendations for each age range. For that matter, each kid might need their own mouthwash just based on their own personal oral health and development.
It’s good to get multiple suggestions for each kid because as finicky and picky as kids can get, it might take some experimentation to find out just which particular flavor or brand winds up ‘sticking’ as the one they’re willing to put up with or even possibly eager to use on their own. That certainly reduces your stress and workload a lot as a parent, which is always a welcome plus.
Another consideration you should keep in mind is safety.
If you have kids both over and under 6 years of age, then the younger kids might get curious about mouthwash if they see their older siblings using it, since they want to be like their older brothers and sisters. They might even be jealous of what others are getting to do. Find bottles with enough safety features that you can keep the youngest ones out of anything they’re not ready for.
The last factor is also your budget.
Great mouthwash doesn’t have to be expensive, but sometimes it is. Also, if your family is using a variety of kinds of mouthwash, space in the bathrooms can get tight.