Is Mouthwash Good or Bad for Kids?

Mouthwash is a common addition to many people’s dental care routines, but you may be wondering whether it is suitable for your child to use. Mouthwash does have many benefits, but it can also have some drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look.

Benefits of Using Mouthwash

The purpose of mouthwash is to flush out food particles and bacteria that brushing and flossing may leave behind. As the mouthwash swishes inside the mouth, it can get into hard-to-reach places to thoroughly cleanse all areas. It can also kill harmful bacteria in the mouth, leading to fresher breath and helping to prevent gum disease. Finally, if the mouthwash contains enamel-boosting ingredients, it can help to strengthen the protective layer of enamel on the surfaces of teeth to prevent cavities and decay. It’s a super duper benefit if you use a mouth rinse that contains fluoride!  Make sure you rinse and spit before bed, and don’t eat or drink anything after rinsing.

Drawbacks to Using Mouthwash

For some people, the alcohol in many mouthwashes can be harsh and irritating, potentially causing or exacerbating canker sores, ulcers, and other mouth injuries. The alcohol can also cause dryness in the mouth, making it difficult to produce enough saliva to keep the mouth healthy and assist with eating and digesting food. Although alcohol-free mouthwashes are available, they may not be as effective in cleansing the mouth.

Making an Informed Decision for Your Child

Particularly for young children, who tend to have plenty of space between the teeth, mouthwash is generally not necessary, as regular brushing and flossing can provide all the cleansing they need. If you are unsure whether your child could benefit from using mouthwash, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist in Melbourne, FL, like Sunshine Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. Our expert children’s dentists can evaluate your child on an individual basis to let you know if mouthwash could help in their dental care.