Available to humans for over two centuries now, mouthwash is one of several oral care products that can play a role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and protected. From those who use it primarily for breath freshening to those who incorporate it as part of their daily oral care routine, mouthwash can help with several dental health areas, including prevention of plaque and gingivitis risks.

At Canyon Rim Dental, we’re happy to help with numerous areas of general dentistry, from mouthwash and other dental product usage through areas like fluoride treatments, dental X-rays and more. We’re here to make simple recommendations and answer any questions you may have about mouthwash, including its use for your kids. Here’s a general primer on some of the most basic mouthwash facts you should know.

when how mouthwash oral car

Mouthwash Age and Safety

Generally speaking, children 12 years of age and younger don’t really need to use mouthwash. Mouthwashes available over-the-counter tend to be too intense for young children’s taste buds, and the formulations are often not appropriate for their thinner oral tissue. In addition, simple brushing and flossing — as long as they’re done properly and often enough — are typically enough to protect the teeth and gums of children at young ages without any additional products.

However, if your child is a teenager or beyond 12 years of age and hasn’t used any type of mouthwash yet, now may be a good time to start. Once children are 12 years of age or older, they can generally use mouthwashes if they so desire. However, we recommend that young teenagers and children always get the green light from a parent first before using any type of mouthwash.

How Much Mouthwash to Use?

You won’t get the full benefits of mouthwash if you aren’t using it properly. The mouthwash bottle has directions on how much to use, but in general it’s recommended that you pour a capful or slightly less into a clean glass — for those who prefer numbers, this is usually about 20 ml of mouthwash per session. Then, rinse your mouth with the solution for about 30 seconds and spit out.

Mouthwash Daily Usage

If you’re using mouthwash as an adjunct to brushing and flossing, we recommend doing so twice a day, just like you would with these other areas. Generally, mouthwash should be used after you brush your teeth and floss, though there may be some situations where it makes sense to alter this order of operations.

For more on when and how to utilize mouthwash for oral care and long-term dental health, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at Canyon Rim Dental today.