If you child's gums have started swelling or if their gums bleed when they're brushing their teeth, they may have chronic gingivitis. Although the condition is fairly common, it needs to be treated on a daily basis to reduce the symptoms and prevent progression into more serious forms of gum disease. Along with treatments recommended by your child's dentist, use the following three-step home remedy.
Step 1: Swish with Salt Water
The first step in this home remedy involves having your child swish with salt water. Salt is a natural antibacterial that kills the germs that are often the cause of chronic gingivitis. The salt can also reduce the swelling in your child's gums by pulling out the inflammation.
In a small glass, mix together two tablespoons of salt with a quarter cup of warm tap water. Let the salt dissolve for about five minutes, then stir. Have your child rinse with the salt water solution for 15 to 30 seconds. Have them spit it out, then go on to the next step.
Step 2: Apply a Paste Made with Baking Soda and Peppermint Oil
After rinsing your child's mouth with salt water, the next step is to apply a baking soda and peppermint oil paste to their teeth and gums. The baking soda in the paste neutralizes acids that contribute to the formation of plaque that can trap bacteria. It also has a mild abrasive property to it, helping to scrape the surface of their teeth clean.
The peppermint oil in this paste acts as an antiseptic to further kill germs in your child's mouth. It also has a numbing effect to help ease any discomfort your child may be experiencing because of the swelling and inflammation. The peppermint also gives the paste a pleasant taste.
In a small bowl or saucer, mix together a tablespoon of baking soda with 10 drops of peppermint oil. The paste should be thin and slightly runny. If not, add a drop or two of water until the right consistency is reached.
Using a cotton swab, "paint" your child's teeth and gums with a thin coating of the paste. Have them leave it in their mouth for about a minute or two. Then, proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Rinse with a Homemade Mouthwash
After the paste has stayed on your child's teeth and gums for a minute or two, have them rinse with a homemade mouthwash containing warm water, salt, and peppermint oil. This mouthwash cleans away the paste and remaining bacteria as well as leaving a residue that will keep working after the treatment has been completed.
In a small glass, mix together a quarter cup of warm water, a tablespoon of salt, and five drops of the peppermint oil. Have your child swish their mouth with half of the mixture for about 30 seconds. Have them spit it out, then rinse with an eighth of a cup of warm water for another 20 to 30 seconds to completely remove the baking soda.
After your child has rinsed their mouth, have them swish the remaining mouthwash. This time, however, do not have them rinse with warm water. Keep them from eating for about an hour to give the residual coating additional time to work.
Having your child perform the above treatment twice a day along with their regular brushing and flossing routine can help keep their chronic gingivitis at bay, as well as aid in the prevention of a more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis. However, if you notice your child's symptoms have started to become worse or their teeth are malformed or have become loose, you may want to have a pediatric dentist, like one from Apollo Dental Center, examine them and offer suggestions for professional treatment.