Kids and Mouthwash: Is It Safe?

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Is it safe for my kids to use mouthwash?

Do you use mouthwash? Have you ever wondered if your child would benefit from it as well? As a parent we’re sure you’re wondering if it’s safe for your kids to use mouthwash, and to answer shortly, it absolutely is! However, there are some things you should know before adding mouthwash into your kids’ daily oral care routine. For example, always get non-alcoholic mouthwash for your children when the time comes. Don’t worry, we’ll get into the do’s and don’ts – we’re here to break it all down for you!

When can my child start using mouthwash?

According to the American Dental Association, it is not recommended for children under the age of 6 years to use mouthwash. This is because young children have not yet developed the fine motor skills and muscle reflexes necessary to properly use/spit out the mouthwash. Since even non-alcoholic mouthwash contains ingredients to stabilize and neutralize the fluoride, it can be toxic to those who swallow. Swallowing mouthwash can lead to vomiting or intoxication. This is why you must add mouthwash to your child’s routine only after the age of 6! 

For the kiddos under the age of 6, it’s important to encourage them to drink tons of water and eat lots of fresh produce like grapes! These foods and others like them encourage saliva production, which helps your child’s mouth remain clean. 

Benefits of Mouthwash

Still unsure if you should add mouthwash into your child’s oral routine? Here are some of the amazing benefits that come with it!

  • Oral Protection:
    Most mouthwash for children contains fluoride. Fluoride adds a lot of extra protection against cavities – it aids in the remineralization of the teeth and strengthens the enamel to ward off tooth decay. If you’re not up for the idea of using fluoride, you can also find a mouthwash that contains the ingredient Xylitol, which would reduce a type of bad bacteria in your child’s mouth. 
  • An Extra Cleaning:
    Mouthwash encourages healthier gums! It cleans around the hard-to-reach places and helps in getting rid of plaque. Healthier gums mean fewer chances of your child getting gingivitis! This is even more beneficial to those who have braces since a lot of the time it can be difficult to reach certain spots with just a toothbrush or floss. 
  • Fresh Breath:
    Mouthwash provides a healthy and fresh breath for your kids. For kids with bad breath, it can help eliminate bad odors which are replaced by a rather minty, fresh, and healthy breath!

How to use mouthwash with your kids

Now that you have an overview of mouthwash and kids, here are some tips on how to better implement mouthwash into your child’s oral routine.

  • Remember to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash:
    Some adult mouthwash brands contain alcohol, which definitely kills invasive and bad bacteria. However, it should not be used with kids. They should stay away from mouthwashes containing alcohol because like fluoride, it can be extremely intoxicating to your child if accidentally ingested.
  • Store mouthwash out of reach:
    Due to some mouthwashes having a tasty flavor and looking fun at times, children may think of it as a tasty treat. It’s a good idea to store the mouthwash in a high area or a locked compartment until your child is old enough to understand how to properly use it on their own.
  • Guide them at their own pace & supervise them:

Supervision is essential to ensure that your children are correctly using the product and are not swallowing! Initially, it can be tricky for kids to get used to the swishing movements. A good way for them, which also doubles as a test to see if they are ready to use mouthwash, is to try swishing with water. If your child can properly rinse with water, they will likely be able to rinse with mouthwash as well!

Does mouthwash solve bad breath?

As mentioned earlier, mouthwash helps with bad breath – but it doesn’t get rid of it. The effects of mouthwash are only temporary so drinking tons of water and eating lots of fresh produce along with scheduled mouthwash rinses can more permanently help in solving bad breath concerns. When looking for mouthwash for your kids, look for ones that contain antiseptic and plaque-reducing properties. This helps fight off bad breath bacteria better. 

FAQs About Mouthwash for Kids

Is Mouthwash bad for kids?

Mouthwash can be really good for kids, but only starting at the age of 6! It’s also important to remember that only non-alcoholic mouthwashes are good for children. 

What is the difference between kids’ mouthwash and adult mouthwash?

The major difference between the two is that most adult mouthwashes contain alcohol and higher doses of other ingredients that are not recommended for children. However, the fluoride levels between both remain fairly consistent. 

What are some kid-friendly mouthwash brands?

Listerine Smart Rinse, Therabreath for Kids, Mountain Falls Anti-Cavity Fluoride Rinse, Colgate Kids Anticavity Fluoride Rinse, and many others similar to these are great options for your child’s mouthwash!

Can a 5-year-old use mouthwash?

It is not recommended for any child younger than 6 to start using mouthwash. This is because kids under the age of 6 have likely not developed the fine motor and muscle skills needed to not swallow the mouthwash. 

How can I make mouthwash fun for my kids?

Choose a fun-looking container of mouthwash. Many containers come with certain characters on them, so find one that your child loves! You can even make mouthwash time into a game – treat it like a sport and set a timer to see if your child can finish before the timer goes off. 

Conclusion

Mouthwash has incredible benefits for your kids. From preventing gingivitis and tooth decay to a happier and healthier smile, it’s a must-have for kids ages 6 and up. Remember to supervise your kids and teach them how to properly implement mouthwash into their daily routine at their own pace. 

We hope this has helped! Please reach out to us at Huntington Smiled with any questions you may have. 

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