Kids Mouthwash and Mouthwash Safety

Adults aren't the only ones who need to worry about gingivitis and cavities. In developed countries like the United States, about 73 percent of children between six and 11 years old have gum disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH also says 42 percent of two- to 11-year-olds have already experienced tooth decay.

An oral hygiene routine that includes gentle mouthwash can help to keep their teeth and gums healthy, but it's important that kids mouthwash is used safely.

Don't start too early

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests children younger than six years old shouldn't use mouthwashes that contain fluoride. This is because very young children may swallow the rinse and ingest too much of this special additive. Small amounts of fluoride help to keep teeth strong and cavity-free, but large amounts can lead to enamel discoloration – also known as fluorosis.

Choose alcohol-free mouthwash

Some types of adult mouthwashes contain alcohol, which is added to kill the invasive bacteria that can fester inside the mouth and along the gumline. This is safe for adults, but not so much for children. Kids shouldn't use alcohol mouthwash because, like fluoride, swallowing small amounts of alcohol is counterproductive to a growing body. When choosing a mouthwash for your child, make sure to choose a product that doesn't contain alcohol.

Supervise children using mouthwash

Children between six and 12 years old should be supervised while using mouthwash. This is important for two reasons: First, it allows you to make sure that your child isn't swallowing the mouthwash. Second, it keeps them honest about brushing and flossing their teeth first, and not just using mouthwash as a substitute. Over time, brushing, flossing and using mouthwash will all become a routine. Ideally, once they're older, you won't need to monitor them anymore.

Hold onto it yourself

Mouthwash should always be stored out of reach of young children; because it's both brightly colored and well-flavored, they may think it's a tasty beverage. Therefore, store your mouthwash on a high shelf or in a locking cabinet until your kids are old enough to understand how to use mouthwash safely.

Children can develop oral health problems such as gum disease just like adults, so it's important to teach your own the importance of a patient oral hygiene routine. Brushing, flossing and using kids mouthwash everyday can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

More Articles You May Like

Bringing education and smiles to children in need worldwide

Bright Smiles, Bright Futures

Top Tips for Good Oral Care During Childhood

  • Brushing and flossing
    Begin using toothpaste to brush your child's teeth when he (or she) is 2 years old. Young children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing, rather than spitting it out. Introduce fluoride toothpaste when your child is old enough not to swallow it. As soon as two teeth touch each other, floss between them once a day. You can use regular floss or special plastic floss holders.

  • Dental visit
    New parents often ask, "When should my child first see a dentist?” Your child should see a dentist by his or her first birthday.

Brushing can be fun!

Brushing teeth with kids toothpastes and toothbrushes can be a fun activity. Check out our products to choose the one right for your child