Word to the Wise: Toothpaste for Kids

Choosing the Best Toothpaste for Children

best toothpaste for childrenTo maintain excellent oral health in your child, it is important to select an appropriate sized toothbrush and a nourishing, cleansing brand of toothpaste.  With so many products on the market, this decision can be an overwhelming task.

What is the difference among toothpaste brands?

With so many brands of toothpaste on the market, choosing one can be difficult.  Most brands of toothpaste contain abrasive ingredients to help remove stains and plaque, fluoride to strengthen the enamel of the teeth and a pleasant-tasting flavoring.  The major difference between brands will be the amount of fluoride content, thickness of the paste and flavoring.  Too much fluoride in children between the ages of one and four, can be harmful to the young primary teeth. The condition is called dental fluorosis.

On the packing of toothpaste, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Some toothpaste brands contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS on the package), which can cause mouth ulcers in some children.

How do you choose a toothpaste?

The age of the child is important when choosing toothpaste.  Before the emergence of the first tooth, oral care needs to be started. To remove bacteria and food particles, gently rub a clean wet cloth inside the mouth along the upper and lower gum lines. Oral care in babies should be done after each feeding.

For children ages 1-2 years of age the primary teeth begin to erupt and a brushing routine needs to be established. Primary teeth are important for chewing, speech production and proper jaw development.  They also play a role in proper spacing and alignment of the permanent teeth.  Proper oral care and brushing of the primary teeth helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. At this age, it is important to choose fluoride-free toothpaste and use a soft toothbrush. You may have to experiment to select a flavor that your child likes.

Children 2-5 years of age can begin using fluoride toothpaste. In selecting toothpaste, look for the ADA (American Dental Association) logo and choose a flavor that your child likes.  Apply a pea size amount to a soft toothbrush and encourage your child to spit out the excess toothpaste. If a small amount of toothpaste is ingested, do not worry. This is normal and will cease with time and encouragement.

 

Original article from: Lonestar Smiles for Kids 

All Star Smiles Foundation is leading the fight against childhood tooth decay in communities nationwide. What began as just an idea in a South Florida dental office has now turned into providing underprivileged children with the dental care they so desperately need. Please join us on our journey of helping all kids have a healthy, happy smile. You can read more about our story HERE.