As a parent, you may be considering multiple dental products to improve the health of your child's teeth and gums. One dental product that parents may have questions about is mouthwash.
Here is some information about mouthwash and its uses for kids.
Mouthwash for Bad Breath
Some parents may be looking for a mouthwash to help their youngster's breath smell more pleasant. There are mouthwash products that offer a clean, fresh scent to reduce halitosis. However, if the mouthwash is purely cosmetic, it does not treat the causes of bad breath. Instead, it simply masks the malodorous smell with a more pleasant fragrance.
If you choose a cosmetic mouthwash for your child, be sure to select a rinse that is mildly flavored. Many children find the minty taste of a traditional cosmetic mouthwash to be too intense.
Some mouthwash products are designed to kill oral bacteria. These microbes play a significant role in the development of bad breath and tooth decay.
The stale odor of halitosis is frequently due to the volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth. These compounds are produced by anaerobic bacteria that reside primarily on the tongue.
Tooth decay is caused by acids that are released by other bacteria in the mouth, such as Streptococcus mutans. As these acids are produced, they dissolve the tooth enamel, resulting in the demineralization that incites decay.
Antimicrobial mouthwash includes substances that kill oral microbes, such as chlorhexidine or alcohol. However, chlorhexidine is often preferred over alcohol. Alcohol tends to dry out the mouth, increasing the likelihood of decay over time.
Most mouthwash products that are specifically designed for kids are alcohol-free. They may also contain fluoride to help remineralize the teeth before cavities form.
As you are teaching a child to brush thoroughly, a mouthwash that stains dental plaque can be helpful. These rinses can be used before or after brushing to help identify plaque and leftover particles of food. As your child notices the colored substances, they can target them with better brushing.
Age to Start Using Mouthwash
When it comes to using mouthwash, the child should be old enough to refrain from swallowing the rinse, especially if the substance contains fluoride. Thus, children who are not old enough to attend elementary school should refrain from using mouthwash unless it is prescribed by their dentist.
For more information about mouthwash for your child, schedule a consultation with a pediatric dentist in your local area.