Some parents ask us about giving their little one mouthwash to rinse. The following information will help you learn more about how mouthwash can affect children at certain stages in life.
Is Mouthwash Safe for Young Children?
If your child is around 5 or 6 years old, he or she may wonder about using mouthwash or ask you about it when you are rinsing your mouth. Seeing their parent use mouthwash can motivate children to try it themselves. However, don't give mouthwash to a child who is younger than 6 years old to use, as mouthwashes usually contain alcohol or fluoride. Over-exposure to fluoride, at this point in a child's life, can lead to a condition known as fluorosis. his condition can cause unsightly streaks or spots to form on the teeth. Also, mouthwashes containing alcohol are generally considered to be toxic, if swallowed, by a very young child. While you should check with us first, you usually can give mouthwash to a child who is school-age. Just make sure they understand that they cannot swallow the substance but must thoroughly spit it out. You should always supervise its use when giving it to a child who has not used it before.
Mouthwash for Teen Use
Teens often use mouthwash to freshen their breath, as they are self-conscious about how they look and therefore worry more about bad breath. For a teen who wears braces, a mouthwash can be used to fight bacteria or to protect the enamel that cannot be accessed by brushing and flossing alone. While you should not use mouthwash to replace regular brushing and flossing, it can still be used, in some cases, to support a regular dental routine. Teens often use mouthwash after lunch, if they do not have the means or time to brush. Before you allow any child in your household to use a mouth rinse, check with us first to get our child-friendly recommendations.
Would you like to set an appointment for your child's dental care? If so, give us a call now. Whatever your oral health questions, we can answer your inquiries and provide you and your child with the necessary information to maintain and protect their smile.