As an adult, you probably have your own preferred brand and flavor of toothpaste. But what about your kids? Honestly, it might be a struggle just to get your kids to brush in the first place. But the right toothpaste can appeal to kids and provide protection from cavities.
Here, we’ll go over different factors to consider when selecting toothpaste for children and what brand we recommend. If you still need help making the right decision for your child, your pediatric dentist can point you in the right direction.
What to Look for in Children’s Toothpaste
Kids are often reluctant to use toothpaste. It might taste gross to them. Perhaps the act of brushing their teeth might seem like a boring chore. They also may not understand why using toothpaste is important. It’s important to choose a toothpaste that has the right ingredients – and the right flavors.
Fluoride is the most important ingredient to look for. There’s a lot of controversy about fluoride, but it’s proven to be safe for people of all ages. The American Dental Association (ADA) has conducted numerous studies and concluded that fluoride in toothpaste is not only safe but vital for children’s oral health. You can find about other safe toothpaste ingredients here on the ADA’s website.
If you’re concerned about tooth sensitivity in your child, please consult a pediatric dentist. There are tons of reasons for sensitivity: tooth decay, chipped teeth, new growth, and so on. A pediatric dentist – like our friendly professionals at ICTeeth – can find out the cause of pain and recommend sensitive toothpaste for toddlers and older kids.
You can also motivate kids to brush by letting them pick a toothpaste that tastes good and has a fun design on the tube. It’s also good to explain to them why having clean teeth is important. It’s critical to develop good brushing habits during childhood. These habits can lead to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Toothpaste Timeline & How Much to Use
You may be wondering when to stop using children’s toothpaste and make the switch to adult toothpaste. It may be surprising to learn, but how much toothpaste your child uses and how much fluoride is in the toothpaste matters more than whether or not it’s labeled for kids or adults.
In truth, there’s actually very little difference between children’s and adult toothpaste. Aside from flavoring, they tend to contain similar ingredients and amounts of fluoride. The American Dental Association (ADA) offers updated guidelines for how much toothpaste is appropriate for certain ages.
The ADA recommends kids under 3 years old should only use a “smear” of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. A “smear” is about the size of a grain of rice. From 3 to 6 years old, use a pea-sized amount. After that stage, kids (and adults) should use a full ribbon of paste along the length of their brush bristles.
And how much fluoride should you look for in a toothpaste? In general, toothpastes should contain 1,000 parts per million of fluoride to be effective at preventing cavities. Some companies will list fluoride amounts in percentages, so you should look for something at roughly 0.2% or above. Anything less means your kids aren’t getting enough protection from tooth decay.
These guidelines are based on what’s known to be safe in terms of kids and fluoride consumption. Consuming too much can be harmful. It can also lead to a cosmetic condition called fluorosis, which is white spots on teeth.
When it’s brushing time, make sure to monitor how much paste your child is using. Be careful that they don’t swallow any. While it’s harmless to swallow fluoride toothpaste in small amounts, it can cause tummy aches all the same.
Our Pick: Crest Kid’s Cavity Protection Toothpaste
With dentist-approved ingredients and kid-approved flavors, Crest Kid’s Cavity Protection Toothpaste is a great choice for a young mouth.
While you can choose the brand, we recommend letting your child choose the flavor. By letting them make the decision, you’re encouraging your kid to be an active participant in their oral health.
Crest Kid’s Toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors and tube designs that kids adore. Plus, it contains a safe and effective amount of fluoride to keep your child’s teeth protected in the fight against cavities. When combined with healthy sugar intake, regular brushing and flossing, and trips to the dentist, Crest Kid’s Toothpaste is the right step toward lifelong healthy teeth.
Now that you know about toothpaste, don’t forget to take a look at our article about selecting the right toothbrushes for kids. After you and your child have picked out the right tools for the job, don’t forget to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist. Regular dental checkups are just as important in maintaining a healthy mouth as using the right toothbrush and toothpaste.