All good parents remember to promote tooth brushing with their children, and most are also at least somewhat on top of flossing. An area that many parents often gloss over, however, is mouthwash.
At Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry, our children’s dentist services include helping your child get into mouthwash, along with helping them understand why it’s important. While kids can get this information from the dentist, you as a parent need to know it already. Here are some of the basics on mouthwash.
From a broad standpoint, there are two types of mouthwash generally available:
- Cosmetic mouthwash: This is a type that’s meant mostly to reduce bad breath and replace it with a pleasant, fresh smell and taste. This type of mouthwash, however, does not treat the underlying issues that actually lead to things like plaque buildup and cavities.
- Therapeutic mouthwash: Therapeutic mouthwash is the type that does treat underling conditions, helping prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and the buildup of plaque. Many therapeutic mouthwashes don’t have the same intensity of freshening smell, but they will be much more effective for long-term oral health and will help eliminate bad breath at its roots rather than simply masking it.
When shopping for your child, consider mouthwashes that are directly designed for children. These are alcohol-free and come with flavors and logos that children can identify with. They’re also typically therapeutic.
Before you buy any product for your child, ask yourself (and your pediatric dentist, if necessary) what the goals of starting mouthwash are. Are you just looking to cure bad breath, or are you trying to reduce tooth decay or mouth sores? As we noted above, this might dictate your choice of mouthwash
ADA Approval and Safety
Never buy a product that doesn’t come with a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA). These products have been tested for safety and effectiveness. In addition, consider basic safety areas when it comes to mouthwash – only get alcohol-free types for children, and unless instructed otherwise by their dentist, don’t get mouthwash for kids under six years old.
For more on mouthwash, or to learn about any of our other services, contact the offices of Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry today.