Should You Allow Your Child to Use Mouthwash?

Dentist letting the kid use the mouthwashStarting your child’s understanding of and dedication to their dental hygiene is essential from a young age. Their gums and teeth are more likely to develop properly once they get used to visiting the dentist for teeth cleaning and periodic checkups, as well as establish a morning and nightly oral routine.

When forming an oral habit, it’s important for children to use the best oral hygiene products, as it can help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Some products, however, may not be appropriate for children. Certain mouthwashes, while beneficial for oral health, may contain alcohol. Should you let your child use mouthwash, then?

Taking the Child’s Age into Consideration

It’s important to remember that only children of a certain age can use mouthwash. The American Dental Association, in fact, recommends that children below six years old should completely refrain from using the product. Young children may not have the muscle reflexes and motor control needed to spit out the mouthwash correctly. Instead of using mouthwash, encourage your child to drink plenty of water and chew on fresh, healthy produce, such as grapes and cucumbers. These can increase the production of saliva, which keeps your child’s mouth clean.

Alcohol-Free Mouthwash Best for Older Children

Once your child is old enough to use mouthwash, choose one that contains no alcohol. While alcohol-based mouthwash is common and perfectly safe for use by adults, such products can be dangerous for kids as they accidentally swallow it. Ingesting alcohol-based mouthwash can cause serious side effects like alcohol poisoning and organ failure. If you need more help in choosing the best mouthwash for your child, feel free to ask the pediatric dentists of Redwood Pediatric Dentistry during one of your kid’s dental check-ups.

Making Mouthwash Safe for Kids

When teaching your child to use mouthwash, have him or her practice a spit-and-rinse routine. Observe their behavior closely to ensure that they don’t swallow the product. Once your child is finished rinsing, put away the mouthwash on a high shelf or inside a locked cupboard.

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It is possible for your child to use mouthwash when he or she is at the right age. This product, however, should not be a substitute for brushing and flossing. Instead, it should supplement the child’s existing oral hygiene routine.