Mouthwashes kill germs that cause plaque, cavities, and gingivitis. Adults also like the minty, fresh feeling that follows a mouthwash rinse. Many of our patients wonder: Are mouthwashes safe for kids to use, too? The American Dental Association recommends waiting until they are 6 years or older. By this age, most kids have developed the reflexes they need to spit mouthwash out as directed.
Once your child is old enough, select a mouthwash that is alcohol-free and sugar-free, and contains an anti-cavity substance like sodium fluoride. Some popular brands include ACT Kids Anticavity and Firefly Kids Mouthwash.
Combined with brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups, using mouthwash can be a safe and effective way to help kids maintain good oral health. Kids with braces like using mouthwash as an additional tool against hard-to-reach plaque build-up. Here are five fun tips for getting the little ones to use it at home, safely and effectually.
- Let them choose the flavor. Mouthwashes for kids are available in varieties ranging from bubblegum to berry.
- Teach them how to swish the mouthwash around for 30 seconds before spitting.
- Have a contest to see who can swish the mouthwash for up to 1 minute.
- Supervise your kids each time they use mouthwash to ensure they aren’t swallowing.
- Don’t let mouthwash become a substitute for brushing and flossing. Unlike mouthwash, brushing and flossing are mandatory!
Did you find this article helpful? Check out the following posts for more valuable tips to use at home: