Is Mouthwash Safe For Kids?

Is Mouthwash Safe For Kids?
Posted on 08/28/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Is Mouthwash Safe For Kids?While brushing and flossing are at the core of any good oral hygiene routine, rinsing with mouthwash is that extra step that can take your smile’s health from just good to great. Depending on the type of mouthwash you get, you can fight off bad breath and bacteria or even protect your teeth from tooth decay. However, a question that we often get from parents here at Children’s Dentistry of Stuart is if mouthwash safe for kids to use.

While mouthwash can do wonders for improving oral health and battling dental problems, there are risks that kids could face when using mouthwash that parents need to be aware of. Overall, rinsing can be perfectly safe, just as long as you take some precautions. Just follow the information in this guide for starting your kids with using mouthwash, and they’ll have a healthier smile in no time!

When Should My Kids Start Using Mouthwash?

It’s recommended that your kids don’t use mouthwash anytime before the age of six. Even after they turn six, they should be supervised by an adult when rising up until the age of twelve for safety. Why age six? Before that age, kids have yet to fully develop the needed motor functions and control over their mouth to properly rinse and spit. Also, younger kids are more likely to swallow mouthwash, which could put their health at risk. 

In addition to the risk of swallowing mouthwash, starting to use mouthwash early can actually lead to a dental condition that can negatively affect the appearance of your child’s smile. Fluorosis, a condition that is unique to young children, develops due to the consumption of an excessive amount of fluoride, which is a key ingredient in most mouthwashes. While fluoride typically protects tooth enamel, swallowing mouthwash or overexposure to it during your child’s important developmental stages could result in white markings on the teeth.

What Kind Of Mouthwash To Get For Kids

While you may be accustomed to using a specific kind of mouthwash, it may not be suitable for your kids. Many antiseptic mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can be too strong for your kids to handle and could cause serious issues if they swallowed it. Alcohol-free mouthwash is the way to go. But even better than that are mouthwashes that are specifically designed for kids. These mouth rinses come in a variety of flavors that kids will love, such as bubblegum or grape. 

Precautions & Steps For Starting Your Kids With Mouthwash

To ensure that your kids are as safe as possible when they are first starting to use mouthwash, here are some precautions to prevent any issues and other helpful tips for solidifying rinsing as a good oral hygiene habit:

  • Practice Swishing & Spitting Beforehand - to prevent your kids from swallowing the mouthwash when they’re rinsing, have them practice with water first to get used to the feeling of spitting it out.

  • Keep Mouthwash Out Of Reach - Young kids can often get confused about the purpose of mouthwash, and they may be curious about what happens if they drink it, or they may just like the taste. This is why it’s best to keep the mouthwash bottle locked away or high up in a place where your kids can’t reach it. 

  • Make It Fun - The best way to get your kids to adopt a new, good habit is to make it fun and exciting. With rinsing, you can make it into a game by timing them to see if they can make it to a full 30 seconds or go all the way to the maximum of 1 minute. 

  • Add Rinsing to Brushing & Flossing - mouthwash should never replace a brushing and flossing routine, so get your kids used to rinsing only after they’ve brushed and flossed their teeth. This will get them in the habit of rinsing only as a part of their whole oral hygiene process. 

Contact Us For More Helpful Tips!

If you have any questions or concerns about getting your kids started with using mouthwash, just contact us at Children’s Dentistry of Stuart, the pediatric dental experts of the Stuart, FL community. A member of our friendly and knowledgeable dental staff will be able to help you get the information you need and answer all of your questions. Creating healthy, bright smiles that last a lifetime is what we do, with state-of-the-art treatments and an experienced staff that has already helped countless patients. For all of your child’s dental needs, come to the professionals here at Children’s Dentistry of Stuart today!