Is It Safe For My Child To Use Mouthwash?

Is It Safe For My Child To Use Mouthwash?
Posted on 07/27/2018
While adults may use mouthwash as part of their everyday oral hygiene routine and while you may have seen mouthwash brands made specifically for use by children, your pediatric dentist in Lynnwood has some recommendations on when you should introduce mouthwash into your child’s oral care regimen.

When Should My Child Start Using Mouthwash?

It is recommended to wait until your child is about six years old before he/she starts using mouthwash. This is because some children's mouthwash contains fluoride. While fluoride is a great tool for preventing tooth decay, too much fluoride too early can cause fluorosis. This condition causes changes to the color and texture of a child’s teeth during development. Fluorosis is cosmetic and is easily prevented by avoiding using mouthwash too soon and not swallowing toothpaste containing fluoride.

Another important thing to keep in mind is just because your child’s mouth is ready for mouthwash doesn’t always mean that your child is ready. Sometimes kids have a hard time understanding that mouthwash is meant to be swished and spit out, unlike other liquids that are okay to swallow, like regular drinks. We recommend supervising your child when he/she first starts using mouthwash since it’s easy for them to accidentally swallow it. You can even turn it into a game where your child swishes as fast as he/she can until you yell “spit!” or “go!” Since it’s not as important for children to use mouthwash as it is for them to brush and floss, it’s okay to wait a little longer if they (or you!) are more comfortable with that.

Benefits Of Mouthwash

Although mouthwash is not always necessary to use, there are some great benefits to using mouthwash:

  • Mouthwash can enhance the effects of brushing and flossing. 
  • It provides extra protection against cavities, but it’s still important to take other precautions like proper brushing, flossing, and eating foods that are good for your child’s teeth.
  • Kids with braces can often miss areas where food gets stuck when only brushing and flossing. Mouthwash can help wash out food that gets stuck in the brackets.
  • Mouthwash is a fast, easy, and effective way for your child to have better breath.

  • Choosing The Right Mouthwash

    When you’re shopping for the right mouthwash for your child, look for an ADA (The American Dental Association) seal of approval. Products with ADA approval have been tested and proven to be safe and effective.

    Contact Your Lynnwood Kids’ Dentist

    If you’re concerned about your child using mouthwash or have any questions, feel free to ask our team of experts here at Alderwood Children’s Dentistry. If your child needs a checkup from Dr. Worton, just schedule an appointment and we look forward to seeing you in our office!