Should Your Kids Be Using Mouthwash?
The final say when it comes to any sort of treatment or preventative care used by kids is the responsibility of parents, so this article is just to present some suggestions when it comes to the use of mouthwash by kids. Here are a few things to consider based on the age of the child.
- Children under the age of 6 – Kids this young probably shouldn’t be using mouthwash. You can’t trust kids at this age to spit it out, and that’s a must when it comes to just about every oral rinse.
- Children ages 6 to 12 – In this age group, it’s a good idea to supervise mouthwash use if you allow it at all. You, as a parent, are in the best position to gauge your child’s ability to swish and spit properly. You may need to demonstrate and then oversee the process. Be sure to use kid-friendly mouthwashes.
- Older kids (13 and up) – At this point, you may find that rinses are being recommended. For example, if your child has braces, a fluoride rinse may be provided to help protect teeth while brushing and flossing are more difficult. Mouthwash certainly doesn’t replace other forms of oral care, but it can provide additional assistance in preventing tooth decay.
Additional Mouthwash Considerations for Parents
Many types of mouthwash contain alcohol, so you may want to select an alcohol-free brand for your kids. Remember that mouthwash is an additional layer of defense against plaque, but that it can’t clear plaque and food particles away without the help of brushing and flossing. Plus, your child should still see a pediatric dentist every 6 months for a checkup and professional cleaning.
The board-certified Pediatric Dentists at BRSH+FLSS will be happy to help your kids learn more about proper oral hygiene. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, call our San Diego practice at 619-741-1500.