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Is Mouthwash Safe for Children?

Woman with mouthwashMouthwash can be an important part of your at-home oral hygiene routine because it kills the germs and bacteria that cause dental cavities, plaque, and gum disease. In addition, mouthwash is also great for helping to freshen your breath and make your mouth feel clean.

We have many parents who ask if mouthwash is a safe choice for their children. The American Dental Association has recommended that you wait until your child is at least six years of age before you begin administering mouthwash to him or her. This is because this is the age where your child is likely to be able to swish the mouthwash and then spit it out without accidentally swallowing it.

Mouthwash Safety for Kids

If your child is over the age of six, you may allow him or her to begin using mouthwash. Make sure you choose a mouthwash that contains sodium fluoride (to prevent cavities), but that is alcohol-free. You’ll be able to find mouthwashes that cater specifically to kids, including ACT Kid’s Anti-Cavity Mouthwash and Firefly Kid’s Mouthwash. The flavors of these mouthwashes are often less intense than regular, adult mouthwash.

Below are a few tips to follow when including mouthwash in your child’s oral hygiene routine:

  • Time your child to make sure he or she can swish for 30-60 seconds. Make it a contest if your child is struggling.
  • Choose a fun flavor at first before starting your child off with mint.
  • Supervise your child to make sure he or she isn’t accidentally swallowing the mouthwash after swishing.
  • Lastly, make sure your child is still brushing and flossing. He or she should not rely on the mouthwash alone.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about giving your child mouthwash, please contact Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry. Our children’s dental office is located here in Parker, Colorado.

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