Toothpaste is the most important dental hygiene product your child will use. With so many choices available today, you may be wondering how to choose your kids toothpaste. Let’s look at some of the options available and which ones work best for kids.
Seal of acceptance
The American Dental Association has run their Seal of Acceptance program since 1931. Consumer products with this seal are recognized for safety and efficacy according to ADA requirements and you can look for this seal on the packaging of your child’s toothpaste to see if it meets the standard.
Fluoride in kids toothpaste
Many parents ask their pediatric dentist if fluoride is necessary in kids toothpaste. The answer is that it is important because it is a proven cavity fighter. Just make sure to monitor your child and ensure they are not using too much and that they are not swallowing it.
In terms of which one to buy, you can’t go wrong choosing an anticavity fluoride product with the ADA seal of acceptance for your child’s brushing needs.
Remember, fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in the water and soil of the earth. The most important issue to note with fluoride is the concentration used. Fluoride is safe for kids because the concentration used is appropriate, however always ensure your child is not swallowing it.
For kids under the age of 2, fluoride toothpaste can be used but only in a very small smear on the brush. This way, if they do in fact swallow it, it won’t be harmful to their stomach. For older kids, aim for an amount similar to the size of a grain of rice. This can be increased once your child learns to rinse and spit properly.
Sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride
You may have noticed options when looking for fluoride toothpastes. Both sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride are recognized by the ADA for their cavity fighting abilities. However, stannous fluoride has additional microbial properties and also works well for those with sensitive teeth.
Fluoride free toothpaste is widely available on the market today for kids. Available in a variety of flavors, these products are often made from calcium and silica. If you are looking to avoid fluoride, then these toothpastes are safe however you should know that the lack of fluoride does lessen their ability to strengthen your child’s enamel and this leads to an elevated risk of tooth decay.
For kids under the age of 2, or for those with allergies to fluoride, fluoride free can be a good idea. Speak to your pediatric dentist about these issues when you make your visit.
Flavored kids toothpaste
Kids dental products receive a lot of marketing. The packaging will often be colorful and the flavoring available is often pushed as an appealing way to get your child to brush their teeth. With flavors such as watermelon or strawberry, your child definitely has options outside of the usual mint-flavored choices offered to adults.
Remember, kids may be tempted to swallow the product because it tastes sweet. Always remember to store the tube outside of the reach of your child.