At Walker Pediatric Dentistry, we’re all about preventive methods for your child’s oral health. Our cleanings, X-rays, and various other inspections and instructions will help identify any issues early on, plus allow our dentists to take the required steps to prevent these from becoming long-term problems.
One product that’s vital for certain areas of preventive oral care is mouthwash. Mouthwash comes in a few different forms, and is important for children – as long as you take the right care with how it’s used. Here are some basics on types of mouthwash and being smart about which you use for your children.
For starters, you should take a few minutes to consider the purpose for which you’re buying mouthwash for your child. You don’t necessarily have to complete a full report on it, per se, but you should be clear on your reasoning – this may affect your choice of mouthwash product down the line.
Are you looking for something to help with your child’s bad breath? That may be a certain type of mouthwash. Another might be needed if your primary goal is strengthening enamel or reducing tooth decay, possibly at the direction of your pediatric dentist. Regardless, know what you’re trying to get out of mouthwash before you spend money on it.
Cosmetic mouthwash is the primary type you tend to see on the market today, and it’s primarily meant to deal with bad breath and bacteria buildups. It brings a clean and fresh taste to the mouth, removing bad breath by masking it with friendlier smells that will stick around for long chunks of time. It’s important to note, though, that while cosmetic mouthwash treats the outward symptoms of bad breath, it generally doesn’t do much about the underlying causes that lead to this bad breath in the first place.
To get at these true root causes if bad breath is a regular issue for your child, or for several other more significant oral health areas, therapeutic mouthwash is the way to go. Not only can this mouthwash help mask bad breath, it can also fight the deeper causes of it and prevent conditions like gingivitis and tooth decay. Before using a therapeutic mouthwash on your child, though, check with our dentist to ensure that it’s safe for them at their age.
There are several mouthwash options out there designed specifically for children. They’re free of alcohol or any other non-child-friendly ingredients, and come in flavors kids enjoy and will want to use regularly. Make sure all child mouthwash you purchase has the ADA seal of approval, which means it’s been tested and approved for use on children.
In addition, most children should not use mouthwash under age six or so. There might be cases where our dentist will prescribe mouthwash to children younger than this, but don’t use it on them otherwise.
For more on children and mouthwash, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.