If your teenager has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, then it can take some time for them — and you — to get their condition under control. Your primary focus is on managing their blood sugar levels to make sure they stay fit and healthy, but this isn't the only thing you need to think about in overall health terms.
Your child's diabetes can affect their dental health. While keeping up a solid oral care routine helps, there may be times when your child's teeth and gums need some extra help.
For example, mouthwashes are sometimes useful for diabetic teens. Why might your child need to use a mouthwash, and what kind of mouthwash should they use?
How Diabetes Affects Dental Health
Diabetes can have negative effects on the teeth and gums. Generally, this happens most often when diabetics don't control their blood sugar levels. If blood sugar levels are too high, then saliva in the mouth contains more glucose than normal. This extra glucose helps bacteria grow in the mouth and stick to teeth and gums. This may boost plaque production which may, in turn, cause decay spots on the teeth and infection problems on the gums.
If your child's sugar levels are controlled, then their teeth and gums may be fine. However, if your child has times when they find it hard to keep things on an even keel, then they may have dental health problems. This is where mouthwashes can help.
How Mouthwashes Affect Dental Health
If your child's basic dental health routine isn't keeping problems at bay during times when their diabetes isn't as controlled as it should be, then adding a mouthwash to their routine may help. Depending on the problem your child is having, a mouthwash could give them some extra protection again decay and gum disease.
For example, a mouthwash that gives a fluoride boost could help your child deal with an excess of glucose in their saliva. Fluoride combats tooth decay. Or, if your child is developing problems with their gums, then a mouthwash that contains antiseptics like chlorhexidine may be worth considering. These mouthwashes help reduce inflammation and infection.
Generally, healthy children with good oral care routines don't need to use a mouthwash; however, these products may give kids with diabetes a useful boost at times. If you aren't sure whether your child needs a mouthwash or which product to use, ask your family dentist for advice.