Getting the kids to take care of their teeth is hard enough, but it turns out we’ve been making them use mouthwash all wrong.
We all know how hard it is to get our kids to take care of their teeth, and the daily battles in the bathroom that ensue.
So you probably won’t be too pleased to find out you’ve actually been showing them how to use mouthwash all WRONG!
Dr Sam Jethwa, Leading cosmetic dentist and founder of Bespoke Smile Advanced Dentistry and Academy says we should NOT be using mouthwash straight after brushing our teeth in the morning, but most of us do.
Explaining this could do more harm than good, the Dr said we should stick to using mouthwash at other times throughout the day.
‘It’s not advisable to use mouthwash of any type straight after brushing your teeth’
Dr Sam Jethwa said: ‘Using mouthwash that contains fluoride can help to prevent tooth decay however it’s not advisable to use mouthwash of any type straight after brushing your teeth because it can wash away the fluoride from the toothpaste.’
‘Toothpaste contains fluoride, which has been extensively researched in terms of how it strengthens tooth enamel — the hard outer covering on teeth — and reverses tooth decay.’
‘So you’re doing two things at once when you’re brushing with toothpaste — you are mechanically removing the plaque and providing fluoride over the enamel.
‘That is why we advise people not to rinse after brushing, as the more fluoride that remains on the teeth, the better it is for improving the strength of the enamel.’
Dr Sam said mouthwash can be fine to use at other times, as long as it’s not directly after brushing.
He added: ‘However, I think that a good routine of regular brushing and flossing are far more important to maintaining oral health than mouthwash. So I would advise a combination of brushing and flossing as priority.’
‘Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch’
The doctor’s comments are backed up by the NHS website, which explains you should not use a mouthwash, even a fluoride one, straight away after brushing your teeth, as this will ‘wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth.’
The website reads: ‘Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch. Don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.’
Should kids use mouthwash?
According to Colgate, the American Dental Association (ADA) says children under 6 should not use mouthwash, as they might not yet have their swallowing reflexes and may swallow it.
As well as this, large amounts of fluoride can lead to enamel discoloration, aka fluorosis, which kids under 8 are at risk of developing.
However, children over the age of 6 can incorporate mouthwash into their oral care routine.