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Can Kids Use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is a great way for adults to keep their teeth bacteria-free and sparkly clean! However, it’s important to remember that when it comes to your children, mouthwash might not be a great option for them. But when can kids use mouthwash

Find out whether mouthwash is right for your child from the pediatric dental experts at Milestone Kids Dentistry. Schedule an appointment now!

A young girl rinsing with a green cup of mouthwash while her dad supervises.

Is Mouthwash Safe For Kids?

Whether or not mouthwash is right for your child will depend on their age, their behavior, and the ingredients of the mouthwash. Generally, Milestone Kids Dentistry does not recommend mouthwash for young children. 

Your kiddo’s swallowing reflexes and motor skills are not quite developed, so they are more likely to swallow the mouthwash. Since mouthwash is not supposed to be ingested, it can cause nausea and vomiting. 

Using mouthwash too early can also cause a condition called fluorosis, which is caused by the overconsumption of fluoride. This creates abnormal enamel growth and causes bumpy, uneven white patches on the teeth.

When Can Kids Use Mouthwash?

Unless otherwise recommended by your dentist, children under the age of 6 should avoid using mouthwash. Children over the age of six may use mouthwash, but you should supervise them to make sure they don’t swallow it. Even if they are used to spitting out toothpaste, mouthwash can be a little tricky for kids who are still developing their swallowing reflex.

To get your child used to the sensation of using mouthwash, challenge them to rinse their mouth with water without swallowing. Once they’ve mastered the swish and spit, they may be ready to graduate to using mouthwash!

A boy in a classroom giving a double thumbs up.

Benefits Of Mouthwash For Kids

Your kiddo needs to brush and floss their teeth twice a day to keep their teeth in tip-top shape. Once your child is ready to add mouthwash to their routine, it can provide a few key benefits:

  • Prevents sugar buggies (cavities)
  • Strengthens the enamel
  • Freshens breath
  • Encourages healthy gums
  • Helps keep teeth squeaky clean

What Kind Of Mouthwash Should Kids Use?

It’s important to remember that mouthwash is formulated differently for children. Most adult mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can be too intense for your child’s tastes and can be toxic when swallowed.

Mouthwash for kids does not contain alcohol and usually comes in more palatable flavors like bubblegum and grape. You can look for children’s mouthwash that has an American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval, which means the product has been vetted for safety and effectiveness.

Starting Your Kids With Mouthwash

So, should kids use mouthwash? The truth is, children under the age of 6 should avoid using mouthwash, and older kids should use mouthwash that is formulated for them. Make sure they exercise caution and supervise them to make sure they’re using mouthwash correctly.

If you have questions about mouthwash for children or dental hygiene for kids, contact the experts at Milestone Kids Dentistry. We are dedicated to helping kids and parents establish healthy habits in a judgment-free environment. Plus, we offer nutritional education to help children get on the right track to a lifetime of healthy smiles. Schedule an appointment today!

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