Many parents often ask if mouthwash is safe for their kids to use. Mouthwash kills germs that cause plaque, cavities and gingivitis. Most adults enjoy using mouthwash because it leaves a fresh minty feeling in their mouth after flossing and brushing. The American Dental Association recommends that children wait to use mouthwash until they are about six years old. By the age of six, most children have developed the reflexes that are necessary to spit mouthwash out and not swallow it. The use of mouthwash from the age of six and up is a great way for kids to form healthy oral hygiene habits.
Do Your Homework Before Purchasing Mouthwash for Your Child to Use
Once your child reaches the age of six and is ready to begin using mouthwash as part of their regular oral hygiene routine, make sure you purchase a mouthwash that is kid friendly. Many of the mouthwashes that you may use as an adult can be much too strong of a flavor for your kids. It is important to consider this when purchasing a mouthwash for your child. Select a mouthwash that is alcohol free, sugar free and contains an anti-cavity substance like sodium fluoride. Some of the more popular mouthwash brands for kids include ACT Kids Anti-cavity and Firefly Kids Mouthwash.
Do Not Allow Your Kids to Replace Flossing and Brushing with Mouthwash
Mouthwash is an excellent addition to flossing and brushing and gives an additional layer of protection for fighting cavities. Unfortunately in many cases, kids tend to replace the practice of flossing and brushing with a quick swish of mouthwash and think that it is just as effective. This could not be farther from the truth. Rinsing with mouthwash does not clean out debris that is stuck between your teeth or scrub off layers of food and plaque from the surface of your teeth either. Mouthwash is to be used after thorough flossing and brushing, not as a substitute for it.
Get Your Children Involved in Healthy Oral Hygiene
If you are ready for your child to start using mouthwash, take them with you to the store and let them pick out the flavor they think they would like. Mouthwashes for kids are available in a variety of flavors and colors to choose from. These flavors can range anywhere from watermelon to red raspberry, making the choice one your child will look forward to and enjoy. Teach your child how to swish properly with the mouthwash. This can turn into a fun game. Be sure they are swishing for at least 30 seconds and no more than one minute before spitting the mouthwash out into the sink. Mouthwash is an excellent addition to kids oral hygiene.