Should Kids Be Flossing and Using Mouthwash?
Smart parents the world over realize that good oral health is something on which they have a duty to educate their kids. Getting children to brush and floss regularly is something that sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. While the general concept of proper dental care is grasped by most, not every parent has a clear understanding of the roles that flossing and mouthwash products can play in their children’s lifelong oral health.
Because of its ability to eradicate food particles, bacteria and plaque from hard-to-reach places between the teeth, flossing is a valuable tool for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If allowed to remain, these substances have the potential to produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel, eventually causing tooth decay and gum disease. Routine flossing is an integral part of sound dental care practices for adults everywhere.
Even though their baby teeth are going to fall out as they get older, young kids should be taught how to floss teeth properly. Flossing helps to eliminate oral bacteria that can cause not only tooth decay, but also dangerous infections. While young children will require assistance when flossing, kids nine and older will be able to floss without help. Establishing a flossing habit early in life will stand children in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Mouthwashes are widely used by adults to lessen plaque accumulation, get rid of dangerous bacteria, and ward off gum disease. It is also easy to find fluoridated products intended to halt the process of tooth decay. Plus, mouthwashes freshen the breath and impart a desirable, clean feeling. While countless adults use mouthwash, is it appropriate for kids?
While flossing is important for even the smallest of children, mouthwash should not be used until a child is at least six years old, according to the American Dental Association. The key is to hold off on introducing mouthwash until a child is able to keep from swallowing it, so that ingestion of alcohol and fluoride does not occur. However, after the age of six, children’s mouthwash can be an effective tool in the battle against bacteria, acid, and tooth decay.
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