Is Mouthwash Safe for Kids?

Curly-haired mother embraces her little daughter as they both smile and talk about mouthwash

Our Growing Smiles Pediatric and Family Dentistry team is thrilled to work with families to help the teeth of each of our patients grow healthy and strong. We encourage parents to teach their kids to establish healthy dental habits at a young age. Today, we want to address a topic that we receive frequent questions about: mouthwash and your kiddos. So first, let’s delve into the components of a proper oral hygiene routine.

What Is a Good Oral Hygiene Routine for Kids?

The best way to ensure that your kids have healthy teeth throughout their life is to establish good habits early. As soon as your child gets their first teeth, gently brush their teeth with a kids’ toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Children over three can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste of fluoridated toothpaste. As soon as they are able, encourage them to spit after brushing. As soon as your child develops teeth that fit together closely, get them in the habit of flossing every day. Moreover, feed your children a nutritious and balanced diet and encourage them to drink plenty of water.

As your children grow, encourage them to take responsibility for their own oral hygiene. Kids around age six are usually coordinated enough to brush their own teeth, but we recommend supervising as they begin brushing and flossing independently to be sure they are being safe and thorough.

Should Kids Use Mouthwash?

We do not recommend that kids under age six use mouthwash, except in certain cases as directed by one of our expert dentists. For older kids, however, mouthwash can help freshen breath, clean teeth, and protect from cavities. But until they are 12 years old, you should monitor your child’s mouthwash usage to be sure that they are not swallowing the liquid. Watch to make sure that they are swishing with mouthwash for the full time recommended on the bottle’s directions before spitting it out to get all the benefits. Additionally, make sure your child is using mouthwash in conjunction with brushing and flossing, and never as a substitute.

More Questions? We Have Answers!

To ask our team any other questions about caring for your family’s teeth or to schedule your child’s next visit to our office, contact us today.

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