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What You Need to Know About Your Kids and Mouthwash

It’s so important that parents start their children on the road to good oral hygiene habits at an early age. Fortunately, there are toothpaste brands designed specifically for younger kids to use. For instance, some toothpaste is classified for toddlers. It’s made to be safe to swallow. This protects younger children who haven’t quite mastered the spit it out stage. But when it comes to mouthwash, the lines are not quite as distinct. In most instances, it’s best to wait until they are a bit older to introduce mouthwash. They certainly need to be able to swish and spit without difficulty. Upper East Side Kids Dentist Dr. Shiva Basir generally recommends waiting until they are older. Here’s why.

Kids Need to Be Ready

Most of the time, mouthwash is not considered safe to introduce until kids are over the age of six years old. This recommendation has two reasons behind it. First off, many types of kid’s mouthwash contain fluoride. Even though we all know how important fluoride is for preventing cavities, using dental products with fluoride too early can cause fluorosis. This occurs if the child has teeth that are still being formed. Too much fluoride can change the texture and color of the teeth. They may start to develop brown or white spots on them. The surface can also become quite bumpy. The good thing is that fluorosis is just a cosmetic problem. But it can be avoided entirely by making sure your child doesn’t use mouthwash at a young age or by making sure they don’t swallow toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even if a child’s teeth are mature enough for mouthwash, your child may still not be ready. Mouthwash must be spat out. Younger children often have trouble swishing and spitting. They tend to want to swallow it like other liquids they drink. You can check to see if your kid is ready by having them swish some water around in their mouth and then have them spit it out. If they can rinse their mouth out with water, they probably have the skills to use mouthwash.

Are there any benefits to using mouthwash?

This is a great question for your New York dentist to answer. The whole purpose behind the creation of mouthwash was to boost the effects of brushing and flossing. Those that contain fluoride provide an extra layer of protection against cavities for kids over six. When children need braces, mouthwash can be beneficial for removing bits of debris and food that often gets stuck between brackets or teeth. This gives them a bit more thorough cleaning. Another benefit for kids who are old enough to use mouthwash is that it helps reach areas they fail to reach when brushing and flossing.

Helping Your Kid Use Mouthwash

You will want to supervise when your child starts using mouthwash. This helps prevent them from swallowing it. When they reach seven or eight and you are sure they are ready, use a mouthwash made for kids. You might want to turn it into a game just so it will be fun for them. Use a stopwatch and time them for thirty seconds to a minute depending on their maturity level. When they have swished for the appointed amount of time, yell, “Spit!” By supervising them in the early stages of using mouthwash, you’ll be able to ensure they are brushing and flossing first and then using mouthwash to rinse their mouths properly.

Contact Upper East Side Kids Dentist

Since mouthwash is not necessary for every kid, it’s good to check in with your Upper East Side Kids Dentist before adding it to their oral hygiene regimen. They can advise you on its use and determine when it’s a good time to start using mouthwash.