How to Choose a Mouthwash for Kids

By Sher Warkentin in Healthy Feeling

Great oral hygiene doesn't begin and end with a toothbrush. Mouthwash can be a helpful addition to help keep teeth and gums healthy, especially for kids who may not always reach every corner and crevice with brushing alone. First, however, you'll need to find the right mouthwash for kids, with ingredients that do the trick and are appropriate for their mouths.

How Mouthwash Benefits Kids

It's a great feeling when kids become more independent, but they are often in a rush when it comes to certain tasks, such as brushing their teeth. Luckily, mouthwash can be a handy tool to help bigger kids maintain good oral health. Once my daughter graduated from needing my assistance to brush her teeth to doing it all on her own, I still worried that she wasn't getting the job done—and my concerns were valid. Our dentist noticed some tartar buildup in those hard-to-reach places and suggested we try a mouthwash for kids to help clean between teeth.

When used regularly along with toothpaste, rinsing with fluoride mouthwash can provide additional cavity protection over brushing alone. Establishing an oral care routine that includes mouthwash at an early age can also help ensure that kids will keep up the habit for years to come.

Consider flavors and ingredients when choosing a mouthwash for kids.

Flavor Is Key

Just like with toothpaste, it's important to choose a mouthwash that has a flavor designed specifically for kids. The trick to adding mouthwash to our daily routine was finding one my kids actually liked. My daughter was not a fan of strong mint flavors or mouthwashes that contained alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, according to the British Columbia Drug and Poison Information Centre. So for me, it was important to find a mouthwash for kids that was tailored to tiny taste buds. We tried a few that she didn't like before discovering that something alcohol-free with a kid-friendly flavor would be best for her. Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry Children's Anticavity Mouth Rinse doesn't contain artificial dyes, sweeteners, or alcohol. Even kids with challenging palettes won't object to something as sweet and fun as strawberries.

Flavor is an important factor in selecting a mouthwash for kids.

Choose a Cavity-Fighting Formula

Finding a mouthwash that my daughter actually liked using was vital to getting her to use it regularly. Of course, you also want to make sure that the mouthwash is doing something to help prevent cavities and protect teeth, which is why I chose a fluoride rinse. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride combines with the calcium and phosphate in your tooth enamel to help prevent cavities from forming. You can explain it to your kids as a superhero that packs an extra powerful punch to attack those nasty cavities.

Once you find the best choice for your little brushers, adding mouthwash to your kids' oral care routine will not only help ensure that they are getting their teeth clean, but it will also set them up for a lifetime of healthy habits.

Image Sources: Unsplash | Sher Warkentin | Sher Warkentin

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Why It's Good

Adding mouthwash to an oral care routine at an early age not only helps prevent cavities in those hard-to-reach spots, but it also helps establish a lifetime of healthy habits.