The muscles in your cheeks are working, helping you to get your mouthwash onto the surface of every tooth and into as many nooks and crannies as possible. Perhaps you feel the burn and long to spit it out, or perhaps you have no problem putting up with 60 seconds worth of the sensation.

But in either case, you may wonder whether or not it’s safe for your children to use.

If so, here’s what you might want to keep in mind:

All About the Alcohol

While many types of mouthwash on the market today contain alcohol, not many people know what it’s used for — because it’s not what you might initially assume.

“Mouthwash, also called ‘oral rinse’ or ‘mouth rinse,’ typically contains antibacterial ingredients to clean between your teeth, as well as other ingredients that give it a flavor,” Healthline explains. “Alcohol is used as a preservative ingredient and as a carrier for the other active ingredients in mouthwash, not as an antiseptic ingredient.”

In other words, alcohol helps to stabilize the mouthwash formula so that it lasts longer. It’s not designed to make your mouth any cleaner or fresher compared to other products.

Of course, that begs the question: Should you and your family still use alcohol-containing mouthwashes?

To Use or Not to Use

So to answer the aforementioned, it depends. For example, younger children should not use alcohol-based mouthwash as they are more likely to accidentally swallow it. Some children — and adults — may also struggle to tolerate the burning sensation the alcohol causes.

That being said, alcohol-free mouthwashes are also an option.

According to Colgate, alcohol-free mouthwashes offer the following benefits:

  • They cause little to no burning sensations
  • They help to fight dry mouth, which alcohol could cause
  • They’re better at protecting composite restorations
  • And more

These mouthwashes are also every bit as good as alcohol-based mouthwashes when it comes to fighting periodontal disease, preventing tooth decay, taming halitosis, and more.

Finding Comfort with Your Pediatric Professionals

If you still have questions regarding mouthwash and how best to integrate it into your child’s dental hygiene routine, remember: your pediatric dentist would be more than happy to help you!

And remember, “using a mouthrinse does not take the place of optimal brushing and flossing,” the American Dental Association (ADA) confirms. “Mouthrinses may offer additional benefit in terms of reducing the risk of bad breath, cavities, or gum disease; or for relief of dry mouth or pain from oral sores.”

If you’re ready to learn more about the ins and outs of mouthwashes — or if you’d like to schedule an appointment with a team of board-certified pediatric dentists — then it’s time to reach out to the Office of Setzer, Cochran, Soares, and Hubbard!

Our team doesn’t just offer a warm welcome and a beautiful smile; it offers years of expertise designed with your family’s comfort and health in mind. Contact us today to give your child the healthiest and happiest smile possible!