One of the most common questions my staff gets asked daily is regarding the recommended toothpaste for children. Which toothpaste is the best? What do you recommend? Should we use fluoride?
Most toothpaste brands all have the same amount of fluoride. The ones that market themselves as natural toothpaste, as well the ones made for babies and toddlers do not have any fluoride. Fluoride toothpaste is generally recommended for children who are at least two or three years old. The idea is that we don’t want them swallowing too much of it. You should always limit the amount of fluoridated toothpaste given to your child, according to how well you think they can spit it out.
By age five or six most children are fairly capable of spitting out most of the toothpaste. As long as you keep the amount of toothpaste small, even if they do swallow some of the toothpaste, no real harm is caused. Remember, even adults only require “pea size” amount of toothpaste for effective tooth brushing. Fluoride content is the only significant element of good toothpaste. It’s what prevents cavities and makes our teeth stronger. The rest is pretty much appearance, taste, and the added whitener, Triclosan, as well as some tartar control.
As far as what I recommend for children, it’s pretty much the . If they like it, they will use it. No point in having great toothpaste your child will not be motivated to use. If your child likes sparkles or bubblegum, get that one! In fact, your child should be picking out their own toothpaste, the same way you let them pick a toy. Don’t forget, brushing without toothpaste is still much better than no brushing at all; so if your child doesn’t like any toothpaste, use water. And don’t give up, there are so many
brands out there, you’ll probably find something the little rascal likes…
Which one do you like best? If you found a creative way to get your child to like toothpaste, please share your experience with us here on our blog.