Teaching your children about dental hygiene may prove to be a difficult task. It is hard enough to teach them how to properly brush their teeth, let alone how to floss. Maybe some of you have wondered if flossing and mouthwash is even safe for your children to use.
Mouthwash has come a long way over the past ten years. Some contain alcohol; they can burn and be extremely harmful if swallowed. Now there are some mouthwashes that are specifically designed for children and those who have sensitivities. Flossing is an important piece to the dental hygiene puzzle when you are an adult, but it really depends on the spacing between your child’s teeth. Some children naturally have more room/spacing in their mouths and do not require flossing. On the other hand, some children do not have a lot of room at all and will need to floss in order to remove harmful bacteria.
Generally speaking, it is not suggested for children to floss or use mouthwash until after they are six years of age. The reason for this is that they are still learning everyday how to properly eliminate toothpaste from their mouths. If there were a possibility of your child swallowing toothpaste or mouthwash, it would be more harmful than useful to have them use it. If for some reason, your child is already using mouthwash and floss before the age of six, do not worry! The next dental visit, you can see if everything is being used properly.
Establishing healthy techniques is difficult and does take time. Children who are younger than four have difficulty because their finger dexterity is not as advanced and it is difficult for them to maneuver the toothbrush around their mouths properly. You can allow children to ‘brush’ their own teeth, but then do a quick follow up afterwards. Regular visits with the dentist should help ease any anxieties that your children may be having but also gives parents an opportunity to speak with a professional. There is no need to feel nervous about asking a ‘silly’ question, if you are wondering about something, the dentists are there to help.
When your child is ready to graduate to adult toothpaste, you may notice that there are plenty to choose from that have mouthwash in them. These have all been approved and it may be easier to just buy a combination 2-in-1 toothpaste, than have to worry about accidentally swallowing mouthwash.