Mouthwash has benefits for your smile, but is it safe for your children to use? The use of
mouthwash isn’t ideal for kids of all ages, although it can help prevent several oral health
problems in children that are a little older.
Here we discuss at what age your child can use mouthwash as well as how you can help them
safely use it. Make good choices for your little one with the right mouthwash at the right time!
Not Before the Age of Six
The American Dental Association does not recommend the use of mouthwash for children that
are under the age of six. This is because children younger than six may not understand the
concept of mouthwash and be more likely to swallow it like they would with other liquids.
The other reason that children won’t necessarily benefit from mouthwash before this age is
because many children’s mouthwashes contain fluoride. While fluoride can be beneficial for
preventing tooth decay, overuse of fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, which manifests as
irreversible white spots on your child’s permanent teeth.
How to Use Mouthwash Safely
If you do choose to introduce mouthwash into your child’s oral care routine after the age of six,
it’s imperative that your child only use mouthwash when a parent or other adult is present. This
is to ensure they are using the mouthwash correctly and that they spit it out after rinsing with
A children’s version of mouthwash should be easier on the mouth and not as harsh as alcohol-
based rinses. Be sure to explain to your child that this is a rinse, not a drink. Be sure to keep the
mouthwash out of reach when not in use in the event that your child thinks it’s a beverage
when you’re not around!
Once your child gets a little older, you can decide when to trust them with the task of using
mouthwash on their own.
Benefits of Mouthwash for Kids
Mouthwash can be beneficial for children in order to help reduce plaque, bad bacteria, and
their risk for cavities. Mouthwash can also be an important tool for children with braces to
loosen food particles that may be trapped under wires and in brackets to help keep their teeth
It’s important to check with your child’s dentist before using mouthwash. Your dentist can
make recommendations for when to begin using mouthwash and may recommend a specific
kind that your child may benefit from based on their unique smile.
Have you been considering having your child use mouthwash? Remember to not introduce this
rinse into your child’s oral care routine too early, and always check with your child’s dentist
before doing so. Be sure to supervise your child when they first begin using mouthwash until
they get old enough to master the habit themselves!