Grandville Pediatric Dentists West Michigan

Is Mouthwash Safe for Kids?

Kid Using Mouthwash Grandville MI Pediatric Dentists

Is Mouthwash Safe for Kids?

Kid Using Mouthwash Grandville MI Pediatric Dentists

Mouthwash tends to be a no-brainer when it comes to adults and their oral hygiene. It’s easy to use, works great, and fights cavity-causing bacteria on top of regular brushing and flossing. Our Grandville pediatric dentists caution against handing over the bottle of mouthwash to young children, however.

Here’s what you should keep in mind as a parent if you’re considering mouthwash for your child.

Why Mouthwash Isn’t For All Ages

While it is suitable for older children capable of also brushing their teeth on their own, mouthwash is not meant for those under the age of 6. In other words, both babies and toddlers do not need mouthwash for a clean smile.

The reason for this, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), is due to an underdeveloped swallowing reflex. Children younger than 6 haven’t fully grasped the concept of spitting out what isn’t meant to be ingested. So, if given mouthwash, they will swallow it and possibly experience nasty side effects like vomiting or nausea.

To be safe, our pediatric dentists suggest just waiting until your child is older. Even still, children between 6 and 12 may require supervision to make sure any mouthwash isn’t used improperly or swallowed. You’ll also want to keep it out of reach the younger your child is to prevent unwanted incidents.

Want extra protection without the mouthwash? We can apply dental sealants to your child’s teeth at our Grandville pediatric dental office to help fight tooth decay. Ask us today!

Mouthwash Benefits 

Once they’re old enough, the relationship between children and mouthwash transforms from dangerous into more positive. For example, your child can swish with mouthwash during the day to achieve fresher breath.

When used properly, mouthwash can also help:

  • With cavity prevention thanks to included fluoride
  • Loosen bits of food that may be stuck in metal braces leading to a better clean
  • Reach areas in the mouth that may otherwise be difficult

Keep in mind that even though mouthwash is safe for those over 6, there still exists the risk of fluorosis. Fluorosis is caused by excessive amounts of fluoride and can show up as white streaks on teeth. Mainly, the risk is highest for children under 8 due to teeth still developing under their gums.

Fortunately, fluorosis is not a disease and doesn’t negatively affect your child’s overall health. If you have additional questions about fluorosis and whether mouthwash is right for your child, don’t hesitate to ask our pediatric dentists.

Tips for Choosing Kid-Friendly Mouthwash

If you’d like a mouthwash for your child to use in between professional teeth cleaning appointments, there are a few things to consider. For one, try selecting an alcohol-free option (that contains fluoride) as the addition isn’t the best for kids if small amounts are swallowed.

Also, in the same vein, we recommend selecting only mouthwashes that are labeled as “kid-friendly” or “made for kids”. By purchasing products like this, you ensure that it’s approved for children to use, especially if it is from a notable brand like Colgate or Oral-B.

Lastly, keep an eye out for the ADA seal of approval. Seeing this seal on an oral care product means it’s been proven to be safe and effective for your child.

Exercise Caution With Your Child’s Oral Care

Mouthwash can be a great tool for children when it comes to fighting tooth decay. However, our pediatric dentists in Grandville, MI, urge you to not give it to them when they’re too young or they are at risk of swallowing the solution. If you have questions regarding mouthwash and your child or you’d like to request an appointment, call Grandville Pediatric Dentistry today at (616) 531-3430.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit sed.

Follow us on