Are Your Kids Ready?
One of the first considerations in using mouthwash for kids is their age. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children under six should not use mouthwash. That means babies and toddlers should not use mouthwash, either, as children under six may not have fully developed their swallowing reflexes and could swallow the mouthwash. This can lead to side effects like vomiting, intoxication, and nausea.
Further, while small amounts of fluoride help keep your child’s teeth healthy and cavity-free, large amounts can lead to enamel discoloration, also known as fluorosis. If your child ingests mouthwash containing fluoride, fluorosis could manifest as white streaks on the teeth. According to the ADA, children under the age of eight are at risk for developing this condition when their teeth are still forming beneath their gums. But once the teeth emerge, they’re no longer at risk. Luckily, fluorosis isn’t a disease and won’t affect your child’s health. Instead, it's a cosmetic condition. To prevent it, make sure your child doesn't use mouthwash too soon or swallow their fluoride toothpaste.