Is Mouthwash Safe for My Child?

Different types of mouthwash have different benefits like preventing tooth decay, reducing plaque, freshening breath, and reducing and preventing gingivitis. But with so many products on the market it can be hard to know what to look for in a mouthwash. Additionally, it’s tough to know which types of mouthwash are safe for your children to use. Never fear, parents! We’ve outlined some of the things you should look for when finding the right mouthwash for your child.  

Consider Your Goals

First, you have to figure out what you want to accomplish by using mouthwash. Are you looking to clear up bad breath? Do you want to reduce tooth decay or alleviate mouth sores? If you know what you want to get from a mouthwash, then you’ll be better prepared to choose the right one for your child. 

Look for Therapeutic Mouthwash

There are generally two types of mouthwashes available: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash gives your mouth a clean, pleasant taste and reduces bad breath. However, cosmetic mouthwash treats the symptoms of bad breath, not the causes of the problem. 

Therapeutic mouthwash helps treat tooth decay, prevent gingivitis and reduces plaque buildup. Therapeutic mouthwash may not freshen your breath as well as cosmetic mouthwash, but it will help fight the causes of bad breath. 

Find Kid Friendly Mouthwash

There are a number of mouthwashes that are designed specifically for children. They are usually alcohol free, and feature popular children’s cartoons and come in flavors that kids enjoy like bubblegum, wild berry and grape. Mouthwash for kids is usually therapeutic, and helps prevent cavities. It usually contains no alcohol, and is easier on their mouth than cosmetic mouthwash.  

Look for the ADA Seal of Approval

The American Dental Association – known as the ADA – tests oral products for effectiveness and safety. To attain the ADA seal of approval, a product must prove to be safe and effective. That’s why we suggest that you look for products with the ADA seal of approval. This will help you find a mouthwash that has been rigorously tested and approved by a legitimate association that advocates for oral health.  

Mouthwash IS Safe for Your Child

Alcohol-free mouthwash is safe for children in small quantities. As a rule of thumb, mouthwash should not be used by children under the age of six. However, in some instances a pediatric dentist may prescribe mouthwash for a child beneath that age, but that usually only occurs in special cases.  

Schedule an Appointment with Our Office

Our office helps parents teach their children about earning a healthy smile, and keeping it long after they leave our office. If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth, or they complain of sensitive teeth, then bring them into our office. We will evaluate their smiles and offer a variety of treatment options that fit their case. We will also show you ways to keep their teeth healthy at home.

What’s the Best Toothpaste for Children?

Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, with more than 16 million children suffering from them each year. Oral disease also leads to just over 51 million school hours lost every school year. So how can you help prevent your child from getting cavities? You can buy them toothpaste that works to protect their teeth.  

What Type of Toothpaste is Best for My Child? 

Look for… 

The ADA Seal of Approval - Look for the American Dental Association’s seal of approval when buying any dental or oral care products. The seal will be easily viewable on the box. The ADA’s stringent testing procedures help ensure that you’re buying a useful product that actually works.  


For more than half a century, the ADA has recommended using toothpaste containing fluoride to prevent cavities. Fluoridated toothpaste does an excellent job of cleaning teeth, but make sure that your child spits all of it out and rinses their mouth thoroughly after brushing since ingesting excessive fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis.  

Avoid Abrasives

Mild abrasives remove debris and residual surface stains from teeth, but they can also remove enamel. Avoid whitening toothpastes for your children that contain abrasives like: calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, and silicates.  

Enjoyable Flavors

Your goal is to get your child to brush twice per day for two minutes each time. A lot of children find that mint or other traditionally flavored toothpastes are too “spicy” for them. You can find flavors that aren’t too harsh on their sensitive palates. Children’s toothpaste often comes in fun flavors like berry and bubblegum, and sometimes features some of their favorite cartoon characters or superheroes on the container.  

Begin a Good Cleaning Routine Early

Just because your toddler doesn’t have teeth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean their mouth! You can clean toddler’s gums with a clean, damp cloth by gently running away residual food. By doing this, you are actually improving the health of the baby teeth that will soon erupt, and familiarizing them with oral care early in their life. 

Does Your Child Brush Twice per Day?

To prevent cavities and tooth decay, your child should be brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day. If they are complaining of sensitive or painful teeth, then visit our office for further evaluation. Our team will check their mouth for signs of tooth and provide them with a treatment plan that will get them a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.

Some healthy foods are unhealthy for teeth.

Whether it’s snacking on granola bars, or choosing fruit instead of potato chips, there are endless dietary actions that you can take to improve your child’s health. But, before you overhaul their diet, did you know that some foods that are marketed as healthy are actually terrible for teeth? When shopping for your child, watch out for some stealthy unhealthy food.  


Granola is typically advertised as a healthier alternative to cereal that people can add into their milk or yogurt for an added dietary benefit. But here’s what they’re not advertising: granola typically contains high amounts of sugar and fat, which we call “sugar bombs.” The added sugar can lead to tooth decay, and the high density of calories can leave your child hungry and cause them to overeat.  

If you do choose granola, compare the nutritional values of your options and choose the one with the highest fiber content, and lowest amount of sugar. This way, you can avoid feeding your child a stealthy sugar bomb.  

“Nutritional” Water & Sports Drinks

Often marketed as a healthy way to recover from a workout, nutritional or “enhanced” water is not good for you at all. In fact, one 20-ounce bottle of Vitamin Water contains more sugar than the recommended daily amount for adults. Nutritional water may taste good, but there’s simply too much sugar in them to be considered healthy. Our advice is to serve your child normal water, which contains no calories or sugar.  

Sports drinks are no better, but usually advertised as healthy drinks. This is patently false, since the most popular sports drinks contains as much sugar as a can of cola. The healthiest beverage you can give your child is water, which also happens to naturally clean teeth.  

Trail Mix

A fantastic substitute for unhealthy snack foods is trail mix. But, be careful! If you decide to serve your child trail mix, look out for unhealthy ingredients that can add unhealthy amounts of sugar and fat to their plate. Try to avoid trail mix that has chocolate, dried fruit, and candy. Look for mixes that are unflavored and don’t contain any added sweets. 

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a food that you should avoid if you’re trying to improve your child’s oral health. Dried fruit contains much higher levels of sugar than their natural counterparts, and none of the water that helps make fruit so healthy. Let’s use prunes as an example. Prunes are just dried plums, except just one cup of prunes contains more than 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar. However, one plum contains just 75 calories and 16 grams of sugar. The bottom line is that you should choose fresh fruit and not dried fruit.  


Smoothies can be a fantastic way to get the nutritional benefits of fruit, and the added mouth-healthy rewards of non-fat Greek yogurt. However, if made improperly, smoothies can be packed with sugar and calories. When making (or buying) a smoothie, make sure to limit using fruit high in sugar. Try to avoid figs, grapes, mangoes, pomegranates and cherries, since these fruits have very high amounts of sugar.  

Does Your Child Have a Healthy Diet?

Our office helps parents teach their children about earning a healthy smile, and keeping it long after they leave our office. A mouth-healthy diet is an important part of maintaining optimal oral health. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office. We will evaluate their smiles and offer a variety of treatment options that fit their case. We can also give you tips on eating for better oral health, and point out food that can lead to tooth decay.