As a parent, you want nothing more than to teach your children excellent oral hygiene so that they can have fewer cavities the healthiest teeth possible throughout their lifetime. This statement can be especially true for parents who invest a lot of time and money into straightening their child’s smile with braces and other orthodontic treatments.
There are a few extra things you can do to help keep your kids cavity-free while they’re wearing braces, in addition to promoting a great brushing and flossing routine. Is your child ready to start using a mouthwash? Find out here!
Simple Mouthwash Guidelines For Families
Different mouthwashes have unique advantages like preventing tooth decay, reducing plaque, freshening breath, and preventing gingivitis. Finding the correct type of mouthwash that’s safe for your family to use is a critical piece in finding a safe and effective product. A gentle mouthwash can help to keep kids teeth and gums healthy throughout their treatment, but it’s essential to help your kids use mouthwash safely by following these simple guidelines:
Age Matters. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that children over the age of six years old can benefit from mouthwash. Young children tend to swallow rinses, and ingesting too much can lead to enamel discoloration, which is why it’s not recommended for younger siblings to use a rinse until they’re over the recommended age.
Always Rinse Supervised. It’s considered safe for children over six to use mouthwash; however, if mouthwash is new to your child, start by making the new addition a supervised activity. Explain to them that mouthwashes are not to be swallowed – not even a tiny amount!
Rinses Don’t Replace Brushing. Ensure your braces-wearing child knows that rinsing your mouth with mouthwash doesn’t substitute for great brushing and flossing.
There are many types of mouthwash you can find at any oral hygiene aisle that are designed specifically for children. These rinses are typically alcohol-free and come in flavors that appeal to kids like bubblegum, wild berry, and grape.
If you’d like to find a rinse for your child that isn’t a fruity flavor, look for a mouthwash containing no alcohol and a therapeutic rinse that helps prevent cavities with ingredients like fluoride. Mouthwashes specifically designed for children are typically easier on their susceptible mouths than a standard cosmetic mouthwash that an adult would use. If you’re introducing a mouthwash to your child, try one specifically designed for them and work up into an adult-friendly minty rinse.
Making Dental Hygiene Fun
Help your kids maintain a healthy smile throughout orthodontic treatment by making dental hygiene fun for them. Making brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups a positive experience can help keep your family get excited about their smiles. Having excellent dental health from a young age also helps establish healthy habits that everyone can benefit from throughout their lifetime.
Here are a few simple ways to make the daily routine of brushing and flossing more fun.
Let Them Pick Their Toothbrush
Everyone loves getting something new, especially kids! Make it a habit of replacing toothbrushes every three months, and let your child pick their soft-bristled brush with their favorite characters or color.
Brush and Floss as a Family
A straightforward way to keep your child interested in daily brushing, especially while wearing braces, is to do it together. Kids look up to their parents and often mirror what they see their parents doing. Set an excellent example for your kids by sharing your brushing techniques that include a full two minutes twice a day and helping them with the floss until they’re old enough to do it on their own while you supervise.
Ask If Your Child Could Benefit First
Not every child will benefit from mouthwash. However, if your child struggles with cavities and removing plaque when brushing, fluoridated rinses could help strengthen their enamel against acidic attacks.
Ask Thomas Orthodontics for help selecting the perfect mouthwash for your child while they undergo orthodontic treatment at their next appointment.