A mouthwash is a dental care product that helps in dealing with plaque, germs, bad breath and dental conditions such as gingivitis and halitosis. 

Despite all these benefits, one question remains. Is mouthwash ideal for children? Well, it all comes down to good dental care. Most parents give their children mouthwash as a way of dealing with bad breath and conditions such as halitosis. However, experts suggest that this might not be the right step. Here are a few factors to consider before teaching your child to use mouthwash.

Are they brushing their teeth appropriately?

Most children tend to brush their front teeth only. However, to achieve proper dental care, your child must brush both their front and back teeth to get rid of bad breath and to prevent the onset of cavities.

Is your child brushing enough?

Ideally, your kid should brush at least twice a day after meals. Moreover, each brushing session should be at least 2 minutes in order to attain the desired results.

Does your child know how to floss?

Apart from normal brushing, flossing is an important part of proper oral care. It entails passing a string between the teeth to eradicate food particles that regular brushing cannot remove. This goes a long way to prevent bad breath and tooth decay.

As a parent, you should teach your kids how to floss correctly, and encourage them to floss on their own, at least once a day. 

Is your child brushing his or her tongue?

Bad breath may sometimes originate from the tongue. Considering this, you should encourage your child to brush their tongue, by investing in a kids’ toothbrush that comes with a tongue cleaner.

Choosing the ideal mouthwash for your child

If your child is still struggling with bad breath even after going through the above steps, then you may go ahead and invest in the appropriate mouthwash for kids. With so many options available, selecting the ideal mouthwash for your child might be a tall order. Here are a few factors that you ought to consider to make the right decision.

  • Alcohol vs. Alcohol-free
    Selecting between alcohol and alcohol-free mouthwash is an obvious choice, but certainly, a personal decision when kids are involved.
  • Fluoride vs. Non-fluoridated
    Choosing between fluoride and non-fluoridated mouthwash depends on the type of water supply in your home. If the city or municipal water is already fluoridated, then you should opt for a non-fluoridated mouthwash.
  • Prescription vs. Non-prescription
    If your child is struggling with serious bad breath and dental conditions, consider visiting a pediatric dentist for medical advice. The dentist will prescribe the most ideal mouthwash, to help alleviate the effects of bad breath. You should only go for over the counter mouthwash if the condition is not severe.


Using mouthwash can be an effective way of dealing with bad breath in kids. However, applying this option should only be a last resort, after every dental care solutions have failed. In addition, all kids aged below 12 years should only use mouthwash under the supervision of an adult.