Mouthwash Tips for Kids

In this post, we’ll look at mouthwash tips for kids. In our previous post, we looked at teeth brushing tips for kids.

Smiles in Framingham provides the best pediatric dental services in Framingham in the surrounding areas. Dr. Deborah A. Himelhoch, DDS MS, MMSc, is a board-certified orthodontist with over 37 years of experience. She’s a board-certified orthodontist and also board-certified in pediatric dentistry. Thus, the whole family can enjoy top-quality award-winning care in our family-friendly, comfortable office.

From the time the first tooth arrives, it’s time to start caring for them. Therefore, plan on bringing your child to the dentist before their first birthday. Doing so will help lead to a lifetime of good habits, better health, and beautiful smiles.

Mouthwash Designed for Kids

As with toothbrushes, there are also mouthwash products designed just for kids. The colorful graphics, cartoons, and colors keep kids interested and make it fun. However, mouthwash isn’t generally recommended for kids younger than age six. Otherwise, they may swallow it, which can be a problem.

Before using mouthwash, it’s a good idea to consult with your pediatric dentist. Dr. Himelhoch and our staff will be happy to help.

Fluoride and Fluorosis

Until the age of around six, kids are likely to swallow toothpaste or mouthwash. Thus, use only a tiny amount of toothpaste for kids and always with parental supervision. Notably, this begins when the first teeth emerge. Generally, kids older than six will have no problems spitting out the toothpaste. At the age of six, you can generally introduce mouthwash with close supervision.

Although fluoride is highly effective in preventing tooth decay, swallowing can be a problem for kids during the teeth-forming years. During this time, swallowing fluoride can cause dental fluorosis and damage to tooth enamel. 

If young kids regularly consume fluoride, white or brown spots can appear on their teeth. These spots are unsightly but harmless.

In severe and moderate cases, the tooth enamel can be noticeably spotted or pitted, but this is rare. 

See more information about fluorosis from Delta Dental below:

Teaching Kids to Spit Out Mouthwash

Around age six, it’s time to teach kids about mouthwash and how to spit it out. Often, it can be tempting to swallow it, so it’s essential they learn not to. To start, try asking your child to rinse with water and spit it out in the sink. Once you’re confident they can do this, introduce a mouthwash designed for kids. 

Until age twelve, adults should supervise kids when they use mouthwash. 

Making it a Game

As with brushing teeth, it’s good to make the daily routine fun to encourage kids. Colgate recommends using a stopwatch and timing kids for a minute while they swish around the mouthwash without swallowing. Then, yell, “Go!” or “Spit!” when it’s time to spit it out. 

The mouthwash game can be the final part of the daily routine after brushing and flossing.

Enhance Brushing and Flossing

When teaching kids age six and older about mouthwash, be sure they know it’s no substitute for brushing and flossing. However, a fluoride mouthwash can freshen breath, help prevent cavities, and reach areas they might have missed. 

For older kids with braces, mouthwash can be particularly valuable. During this time, it’s harder to clean thoroughly around teeth. So, mouthwash can help reach areas difficult to get to and loosen particles of food.

We hope these mouthwash tips for kids have been helpful. 

Contact us here to schedule a visit.

Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest content and updates.

Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surround