Call us at (615) 297-7597

Should Children Use Mouthwash?

As one of the leading pediatric dentists in Nashville we often get the question “should children use mouthwash?” Parents know that brushing and flossing are an important part of children’s oral hygiene. But most pediatric dentists in Nashville would not recommend mouthwash for children. In fact, it may actually be harmful.

should children use mouthwash nashville pediatric dentistWhy Pediatric Dentists in Nashville Don’t Recommend Mouthwash for Children

Teenagers and adults are recommended to use mouthwash as the final step in their oral hygiene. But if you encourage your child to drink lots of water, mouthwash is unnecessary. Drinking water increases saliva which helps to keep the mouth clean.

There are several reasons why mouthwash is unnecessary and may even be harmful for young children. Young children don’t understand the practice of spitting out the mouthwash. If they swallow it, the alcohol and fluoride in the mouthwash could lead to problems.

Swallowing too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, a disease found in children that damages the teeth. And many mouthwashes contain alcohol which can cause vomiting or breathing difficulties in children.

Safety Precautions

Many mouthwashes come in packaging that is attractive to children. Take these precautions when mouthwash is in your bathroom.

  • Keep the mouthwash in a place where young children cannot reach it.
  • Teach your child how to swish water in his mouth and then spit it out. If he accidentally swallows mouthwash, he will be familiar with how to spit it out rather than swallowing it. (If your child swallows a small amount of mouthwash, he probably won’t have any side effects.)
  • If you child swallows a large mount, dangers can arise. Call the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222 to get advice on steps you can take or if a trip to the hospital is necessary.

Adams and Seaton Are Pediatric Dentists in Nashville

We are specially trained to provide primary and specialty oral care for the unique dental needs of infants and children through adolescence, including preventative care, oral sedation, and hospital care. Call us for an appointment today.