Mouthwash 101: Picking the Right Mouthwash for You and Your Child
Mouthwash is a great tool to help you and your child get clean teeth and gums. Different types of mouthwash have different benefits like preventing tooth decay, reducing plaque, freshening breath, and reducing and preventing gingivitis. But with so many products on the market it can be hard to know what to look for in a mouthwash. Additionally, it’s tough to know which types of mouthwash are safe for your children to use. Never fear, parents! We’ve outlined some of the things you should look for when finding the right mouthwash for you and your child.
Start With Your Goals
First, you have to narrow down what you want to accomplish by using mouthwash. Are you looking to clear up bad breath? Do you want to reduce tooth decay or alleviate mouth sores? If you know what you want to get from a mouthwash, then you’ll be better prepared to choose the right one for you and your child.
Cosmetic Mouthwash Vs. Therapeutic Mouthwash
There are generally two types of mouthwashes available: cosmetic and therapeutic.
Cosmetic mouthwash gives your mouth a clean, pleasant taste and reduces bad breath. However, cosmetic mouthwash treats the symptoms of bad breath, not the causes of the problem.
Therapeutic mouthwash helps treat tooth decay, prevent gingivitis and reduces plaque buildup. Therapeutic mouthwash may not freshen your breath as well as cosmetic mouthwash, but it will help fight the causes of bad breath.
Does Fluoride Help?
Mouthwash with fluoride is designed to reduce tooth decay on tooth enamel, and makes teeth more resistant to cavities. But, fluoridated mouthwash doesn’t remove plaque, and it’s not a substitute for brushing and flossing. It works by protecting your teeth from harmful acids that eat away at enamel.
Find Kid Friendly Mouthwash
There are a number of mouthwashes that are designed specifically for children. They are usually alcohol free, and feature popular children’s cartoons and come in flavors that kids enjoy like bubblegum, wild berry and grape. Mouthwash for kids is usually therapeutic, and helps prevent cavities. It usually contains no alcohol, and is easier on their mouth than cosmetic mouthwash. As a rule of thumb, mouthwash should not be used by children under the age of six. However, in some instances a pediatric dentist may prescribe mouthwash for a child beneath that age, but that usually only occurs in special cases.
Look for the ADA Seal of Approval
The American Dental Association – known as the ADA – tests oral products for effectiveness and safety. To attain the ADA seal of approval, a product must prove to be safe and effective. That’s why we suggest that you look for products with the ADA seal of approval. This will help you find a mouthwash that has been rigorously tested and approved by a legitimate association that advocates for oral health.
If you would like more information about the types of mouthwash that are safe and effective for your kids, then schedule a visit to our office! We will talk with you and your child about the best mouthwash for their overall mouth health. But, it’s important to remember that mouthwash is intended to be used in addition to a regular routine of brushing and flossing. Mouthwash does not replace brushing and flossing. The best way to get your kids a healthy smile is by brushing and flossing twice per day for 2 minutes at a time.