Mouthwash for children, when to start using them?

Educating the little ones on the importance of good oral hygiene is essential for their oral health. The data indicates that 20% of 3-year-old children have more than one tooth with cavities, while this percentage increases to more than 30% in children between five and six years old.

To prevent these and other oral diseases, experts in pediatric dentistry recommend establishing oral hygiene habits early, even from birth. Specifically, they advise washing babies’ mouths after each breast or bottle feeding with a gauze moistened with water to be able to remove any remaining milk.

However, it is with the eruption of the first teeth that tooth brushing should begin to become routine.

Children’s mouthwashes help achieve more complete tooth and gum hygiene, reducing the risk of cavities and other oral conditions.

Parents play a key role in promoting these good oral cleaning habits in children. For this reason, it is important that they know how brushing should be and if it is necessary to use other products beyond the children’s toothbrush and toothpaste.

One of the frequent doubts in this regard is whether children can use mouthwash and, if so, from what age.

The truth is that the mouthwash for children helps to achieve optimal oral hygiene, but certain aspects must be taken into account.

Benefits of mouthwash for children

The main benefit of mouthwash for children is that it offers more complete care of teeth and gums, which contributes to a reduction in the risk of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath, among other conditions.

This is possible because the mouthwashes manage to reach areas that are difficult to access, such as the interdental spaces or between the brackets in case of wearing fixed orthodontics.

However, it should be noted that mouthwashes for children should always be understood as one more step in their daily oral hygiene routine. In no case should they replace tooth brushing or flossing.

When in doubt about which is the best mouthwash for children, it is important that it contains certain ingredients.

The fluoride should not miss, because it strengthens the enamel and prevents tooth decay. Of course, it must be in concentrations adapted to the age of the little ones.

Another interesting ingredient is panthenol (provitamin B5), which helps protect and care for the gums at the age when permanent teeth erupt. You also have to make sure it doesn’t contain alcohol.

Children’s rinses are usually mild in flavors to encourage their use by little ones and encourage them to add this step to their dental hygiene routine.

From what age can children use mouthwashes?

As we have seen, not only can children use mouthwash, but it is recommended that they do so. The question is from what age should they start using it.

Children’s mouthwashes are formulated to rinse the oral cavity, not to be ingested.

Therefore, it is not recommended to use them until children have fully developed control of the swallowing reflex, as they could accidentally swallow it. This usually occurs from the age of six, coinciding with the eruption of the first permanent teeth.