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Should I Let My Child Use Mouthwash?

November 24, 2017 ABC Children's Dentistry

For many adults, rinsing with mouthwash is a part of our morning routines. But is mouthwash a good idea for children?

We’ll talk about it in this issue.

Mouthwash at a Glance

Before we go any further, it’s important to realize that not all mouthwashes are the same. Essentially, there are two types: therapeutic and cosmetic.

While cosmetic mouthwash will do a fairly good job of controlling or reducing bad breath and giving you a nice taste in your mouth, it hardly does anything else.

Therapeutic mouthwash, however, contains the active ingredients designed to kill bacteria and reduce cavities, bad breath and gingivitis.

Is mouthwash good for my child?

It depends on several things, beginning with the age of your child. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children younger than 6 should not be using mouthwash, unless specifically instructed to do so by a dentist.

The reasons for this are twofold. (1) Your child may accidentally swallow the mouthwash, which can quickly lead to vomiting and even intoxication because of the alcohol content; and (2) too much fluoride (which is in many mouthwashes) can lead to fluorosis, which can change the texture of your child’s teeth.

How can I tell if my child is ready to use mouthwash?

Mouthwash is not an essential tool, so it’s a good idea to check with your child’s dentist before trying it out. Because its vital that your child spit out the mouthwash after rinsing, get them accustomed to doing that before trying the real thing. To do that, let your child rinse with a cup of tap water and spit it out.

What type of mouthwash should my child use?

Some mouthwash brands contain alcohol to kill off bacteria. While these brands are typically safe for adult use, your child should not use them because swallowing just a small amount can cause harm.

For compassionate and fun pediatric dental care in San Diego, call ABC Children’s Dentistry.

Here at ABC Children’s Dentistry, we’re committed to providing dental care in a gentle, non-threatening, child-friendly and fun environment.

To schedule an appointment for your child’s dental care, give us a call! Our number is 858-780-9794. Also, you can reach us online and via email.