Establishing brushing habits early is the best way to ensure that your child will enjoy a lifetime of healthier smiles. But which toothpaste is best for kids ? When is the right time for them to upgrade to an adult toothpaste?
We’re here to answer all your burning questions about children’s toothpaste! Learn more about dental hygiene for children from the experts at Milestone Kids Dentistry.
When Should My Child Start Using Toothpaste?
It’s important to start your child’s dental hygiene routine as early as possible! For babies who don’t have teeth yet, simply clean your child’s gums with water and a clean wash cloth to get rid of any bacteria. This also helps them get accustomed to the feeling of having their teeth brushed. Once their first tooth emerges, use a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste and a small toothbrush that is designed for young children.
What To Look For In Children’s Toothpaste
What should parents be looking for in their children’s toothpaste? Here are a few things you can look out for to make sure you’re getting the right toothpaste for your child.
ADA Seal Of Acceptance
Milestone Kids Dentistry recommends buying accredited products with an ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means that the product has been thoroughly vetted for quality, safety, and cavity prevention. Here’s a comprehensive list of ADA approved toothpastes for kids!
Make sure that whatever toothpaste you choose contains fluoride! Fluoride is a natural compound that strengthens tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay. Children’s toothpaste is formulated with less fluoride than adult toothpastes, as too much fluoride can lead to an overgrowth of enamel called fluorosis.
The classic mint toothpaste that adults know and love is probably too intense for your kid’s tastes. The good news is that children’s toothpaste comes in many flavors like bubblegum, strawberry, cinnamon, and more! If your child enjoys the taste of their toothpaste, they’ll be more motivated to brush their teeth.
How Much Toothpaste Should Kids Use?
Using the right amount of toothpaste is also important! For kids younger than age three, use a small smear of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) and a small toothbrush to clean their teeth. Using a small amount prevents younger children from swallowing it. Children ages three and up should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, as they usually have developed the ability to spit after brushing.
When Can Kids Use Regular Toothpaste?
The type and amount of toothpaste that your child should use will depend on whether they’ve developed the ability to spit it out. If your child is still swallowing toothpaste, it’s probably a good idea to keep using children’s toothpaste until they have developed the motor skills to spit.
While there’s no hard and fast rule as to when you should make the switch to adult toothpaste, we usually suggest waiting until age 6 or 7 to do so. You can also talk to your pediatric dentist and see what they recommend!
Can Kids Use Whitening Toothpaste?
Some kinds of whitening toothpaste can be used on children, but it’s important to check the packaging to make sure it’s ok. If you do choose to get a whitening toothpaste, make sure it also contains fluoride. However, whitening toothpaste won’t remove deeper stains from medications, injuries, or pigmented foods. Always look for guidelines on the packaging for directions!
Kids Need to Brush Consistently and See a Pediatric Dentist Regularly
Using children’s toothpaste is necessary to keep your kid’s teeth as clean and healthy as possible! If you have questions about kids’ toothpaste or dental hygiene for kids, contact the experts at Milestone Kids Dentistry. We are committed to supporting kids and parents by teaching them healthy habits. Schedule an appointment today!