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Should You Teach Children To Use Mouthwash?

Should You Teach Children To Use Mouthwash?

Adults often love the minty fresh results they can obtain from mouthwash. Not only does mouthwash help your mouth feel clean and invigorated, but it can also assist with the buildup of plaque that you may have missed when you brushed and flossed. However, just because you enjoy using mouthwash, does that mean that mouthwash is for children too?

Every day, the team at Children’s Dentistry in the greater Las Vegas area answers parents’ questions about good oral care, including pediatric mouthwash use. Before you pick up a bottle of mouthwash to sweeten your child’s breath, here’s some things you should consider.

Make Sure Your Child Has Good Oral Care Habits

A common mistake parents make is to start their child on a regiment of mouthwash simply because their child is struggling with bad breath. If you have concerns about halitosis, follow this checklist before having your child use mouthwash:

  • Are they brushing enough? Dentists recommend that everyone, children and adults, brush twice a day, for at least two minutes a session.
  • Are they using the correct brushing technique? Ensure that they are not just brushing their front teeth. If they are neglecting their back teeth, this could lead to bad breath, as well as a host of other issues.
  • Are they brushing their tongue? Bad breath can sometimes emanate from the tongue. Most children’s brushes have a gel-like tongue cleaner on the back of the brush.
  • Are they flossing? If they aren’t flossing at least once a day, it’s likely that food particles are stuck in their teeth and gums, causing bad breath.

Once you’ve gone through this checklist, if your child still is dealing with bad breath, consider allowing them to use mouthwash.

Choose The Right Mouthwash For Children

With so many mouthwash options available, it may seem hard to choose. Here’s some of the options that will be available to you.

  • Fluoride vs. Non-Fluoridated: If your municipal water supply already has fluoride added to it, then you may not feel that a fluoride mouthwash is necessary.
  • Alcohol vs. Alcohol Free: Although alcohol is a natural antiseptic, you may have concerns about your child using a mouthwash containing alcohol. This is a personal decision for your family, but one that should be considered before your purchase.
  • Prescription vs. Over-the-Counter: For most children, a simple mouthwash from your local drugstore should be sufficient. If you feel like something stronger is needed, talk to your pediatric dentist.

No matter what you choose, make sure that children from six to twelve are supervised by an adult when using mouthwash. For children under six, mouthwash is not normally recommended unless recommended by their pediatric dentist.

Have more questions about choosing the right mouthwash? Contact us here at Children’s Dentistry in Las Vegas. We have a host of convenient locations to serve you, and our team has one goal: to give your child the best experience possible when they sit in the dentist’s chair. We hope to see you soon!