Did you know that children are more vulnerable to cavities than any other group? Not only can it be difficult to mange what they eat (especially if they love sugar), but they’re teeth are still developing at a young age. They also don’t have their brushing technique perfected like you do. That’s where mouthwash comes in.
February is Children’s Dental Health Month, so take a moment to consider some tips on picking and using mouthwash from your dentist in Cocoa. With mouthwash, your child can clean all the hard-to-reach areas while they get their brushing technique down. Plus, you’ll get to reap the benefits right alongside them.
When Your Child Should Start Using Mouthwash
The most important thing to consider when deciding to buy mouthwash for your child is how well they’re currently able to use it. As a rule of thumb, children between the ages of 6 and 12 should have adult supervision while using mouthwash.
Your dentist in Cocoa does not recommend letting children under the age of 6 use mouthwash because they haven’t fully developed their swallowing reflex. This can cause them to swallow more mouthwash than they spit out. Waiting until the right age will reduce your child’s chances of experiencing toxic side effects as well as fluorosis.
Once you’ve determined your child is ready, you can start searching for a proper mouthwash.
How to Pick Mouthwash for You and Your Child
Just like other dental tools, companies are also creating mouthwash specifically catered to children to introduce them to oral care habits early. These mouthwashes will usually be alcohol free to avoid harmful side effects if they should accidentally swallow any during their daily regimen. They’ll also showcase their favorite carton characters and come in more child-friendly flavors.
If the tap water in your area isn’t treated with fluoride, a fluoride mouthwash is a great way to protect you and your child from tooth decay. If it is treated, purchase an antibacterial mouthwash instead, which contains chemicals designed to fight gum disease and other infections.
How to Practice Using Mouthwash
To be extra safe, you can ask your child to practice rinsing their mouth with water first and having them spit into a measuring cup to see how much they swallowed in the process. Just like their other routines, consider making a game out of it to make brushing time more fun!
Once you switch to the real stuff, set a timer for one minute (the amount of time most mouthwashes instruct to rinse for) and say “Go!” after starting. Be sure to join them so you both can reap the benefits mouthwash has to offer. After a minute is almost up, count down from five on your fingers so they know when to spit. Once they feel confident, do it again but only have them rinse, so you can count down out loud and say “Spit!” after a minute is up.
A day spent on practicing oral care can make a big difference in the long-term. Schedule an appointment with your family dentist in Cocoa today to learn more tips on mouthwash!