Using Mouthrinses in Kids: Top Considerations

When it comes to their kids’ oral health, parents must always be looking for ways to help improve care of their kid’s teeth and gums.

Needless to say, brushing and flossing are still the best ways to avoid of tooth decay and gum disease, but some kids – especially the older ones – may start to show some interest in incorporating mouthrinse as part of their oral hygiene routine.

For parents, here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to let your kid use a mouthrinse.

Proper Age for Using Mouthrinses in kids

In general, kids younger than six years old must not be allowed to use a mouthrinse to avoid the risk of swallowing the product. It can be quite tricky and challenging for young kids to learn to swish the liquid instead of swallowing it like a drink.

Meanwhile, those aged six to twelve may use mouthrinse, but only under close adult supervision.

One good way to determine if your kid is ready to use a mouthrinse is to ask him or her to take a sip of water, gargle it around his or her mouth for a few seconds, then spit it out. If your kid can handle rinsing with water, they are more likely to do the same with mouthrinse.

Choosing between Alcohol-Containing vs. Alcohol-free Mouthrinses

Many different types of mouthrinses are available on the market, and the two varieties include the alcohol-containing and alcohol-free. Alcohol-free products are recommended because they can be just as effective as the alcohol-containing variety, but much more pleasant to use. When it comes to fluoride mouthrinses, parents are advised to avoid them for now, as fluoride can result in fluorosis of the kids’ developing teeth.

Fluorosis is a harmless condition, but it can be unsightly due to the changes it can cause to the teeth’s color and texture. It can cause formation of white spots or brown streaks on the tooth enamel, or make the tooth surfaces uneven and bumpy.

Using Mouthrinses while on Orthodontic Treatment

Kids who have dental braces can benefit the most from using  mouthrinse, because mechanical cleaning via toothbrush and floss is often not enough in removing plaque buildup underneath the wires and brackets.

Mouthrinses can be a good adjunct to loosen debris and neutralize the acid-producing bacteria in the mouth. With this three-pronged attack – brush, floss, and using mouthrinse – against plaque, kids should be able to adequately protect their teeth from tooth decay and gum disease while wearing braces. This, in turn, helps to ensure a successful orthodontic treatment that will result to straighter teeth in the end.

Mouthrinses as an Adjunct to Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

Regardless of the type of mouthrinse your kid uses, be sure to constantly remind him or her that they should not, in any way, replace the good old twice-daily toothbrushing and flossing. While it is true that mouthrinses offers great benefits against plaque, it cannot match the benefits provided by mechanical cleaning.

Follow the Advice of Your kid’s Dentist

Because mouthrinses is not advisable for every kid, consult with your kid’s dentist first. He or she will help determine if using a mouthrinse will indeed be beneficial for your kid’s teeth.

Orthodontic Retainers: FAQs

If you have or have had dental braces, then like many people, one of the things that you very much look forward to is that day when your dentist finally gets them off. So you come to your dentist’s clinic for your de-bonding appointment and just like that, your teeth are perfect.

But before you can celebrate, you dentist suddenly ruins your perfectly happy moment by saying that you need to put on your retainers now.

Yes, we know the feeling, but don’t get disappointed yet because it is for your own good. Learn more about orthodontic retainers and how they can help your now perfect teeth stay that way.

What are Orthodontic Retainers?

Simply put, an orthodontic retainer, as its name suggests, is custom-made appliance that retains your teeth to their new position after the removal of your dental braces. There are different types of retainers, and you can learn more about them in this article.

Why would I need an Orthodontic Retainer?

Having your braces off doesn’t mean that the whole process of tooth movement is done. The forces that moved your teeth into their perfect alignment will take some time to stop.

If you don’t use retainers, then these forces will continue moving your teeth even after the braces are removed, causing them to be misaligned again.

Also, it may take a while for supporting structures (i.e. bone and periodontal ligament) to remember the new position of your teeth and adapt to other changes.

How do Orthodontic Retainers work?

Retainers prevent further tooth movement basically by acting as “brake” which stops the forces cause the movement. They signal the tooth roots to stay in place, which thereby preserve the correct alignment created by your dental braces.

How long do I have to wear an Orthodontic Retainer?

Orthodontists recommend wearing a retainer for at least six months after the removal of your dental braces. You must wear your retainer exactly as your orthodontist say especially during the first six months. This period is very critical because it is when tooth movement is still active.

Depending on the case, some patients are even required to wear their retainers for life after the critical period. But don’t worry, if you happen be one of them, you would only need to wear them at night.  You can walk around and spend your entire daytime without your retainers.

 How do I take care of my Orthodontic Retainer?

Your retainers should be cleaned every night by rinsing it with warm water, or with cleaners that are especially formulated for retainers. Denture cleaners also work. Some retainers can also be cleaned by brushing them using a soft-bristled toothbrush and tiny amount of toothpaste – ask your orthodontist if your retainer is suitable for this method.

If you wear your retainer 24/7, be sure to clean it every now and then to prevent bacterial buildup.

Wearing your retainers is a must, especially if you wouldn’t want your teeth to go back to their pre-treatment state. Majority of adults who need orthodontic treatment are actually patients whose condition has relapsed because they did not wear their retainers.

Always follow your orthodontist’s recommendations to make sure that all the time and resources you’ve spent for your orthodontic treatment will all be worth it.