Adults aren't the only ones who need to worry about oral health. The Australian Dental Association report that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in childhood. An oral hygiene routine that includes a gentle, alcohol-free mouthwash can help to keep their teeth and gums healthy, but it's important that kids mouthwash is used appropriately.
Don't start too early
Keep in mind that even when your child's teeth are ready for mouthwash, your child might not be. Mouthwash should be spat out, just like toothpaste, but it can be tricky for young kids to get used to swishing the liquid rather than swallowing it like a beverage. One way to test your child and see if they are ready to use a mouthwash, is to have them take a sip of water, swish it around their mouth and then spit it out into the sink. If kids can handle rinsing with water, they can most likely handle mouthwash. Dentists suggest children younger than six years old shouldn’t use mouthwashes.
Choose alcohol-free mouthwash
Some types of adult mouthwashes contain alcohol, which is added as a preservative and helps to kill the invasive bacteria that can grow on your teeth and along the gumline. Kids shouldn't use alcohol mouthwash because, swallowing small amounts of alcohol is not recommended for a growing body. When choosing a mouthwash for your child, make sure to choose a product that doesn't contain alcohol.
Supervise children using mouthwash
Children between six and 12 years old should be supervised while using mouthwash. This is important for two reasons: First, it allows you to make sure that your child isn't swallowing the mouthwash. Second, it keeps them honest about brushing and flossing their teeth first, and not just using mouthwash as a substitute. Over time, brushing, flossing and using mouthwash will all become a routine. Ideally, once they're older, you won't need to monitor them anymore.
Hold onto it yourself
Mouthwash should always be stored out of reach of young children; because it's both brightly coloured and well-flavoured, they may think it's a tasty beverage. Therefore, store your mouthwash on a high shelf or in a locking cabinet until your kids are old enough to understand how to use mouthwash safely.
Children can develop oral health problems just like adults, so it's important to teach your own the importance of a complete oral hygiene routine. Brushing, flossing and using kids mouthwash everyday can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.