How to Choose the Best Toothpaste for Your Kid

Pediatric dental care is important, and children's teeth require special attention. Establishing healthy dental habits is especially important as children grow. Purchasing the right toothpaste can substantially impact your child's overall oral health. With so many brands out on the market, finding the right one can be overwhelming!

So how do you choose? This guide identifies a few things to look out for when choosing toothpaste for your child. By following these steps, you will help prevent cavities and tooth decay, ensuring your child’s smile stays strong and bright.

The Gold Standard

The American Dental Association (ADA) utilizes strict testing methods to evaluate dental and oral care products. Buying a product with the ADA’s seal of approval ensures that you are receiving a product that works.

Full of Fluoride

Fluoride is critical for dental health. The ADA recommends using a toothpaste with fluoride to prevent cavities and tooth decay. However, it is important to monitor children using fluoride toothpaste. Consuming too much fluoride can cause a health condition called fluorosis.

Full of Flavor

Many children dislike mint flavors and find them to be too “spicy.” Buying a product in tasty flavors, such as bubblegum and strawberry, helps make brushing more enjoyable for children. The ultimate goal is to get children to brush their teeth twice a day. Tasty flavors entice children to brush their teeth more often and for more time.

Don't Be Abrasive

Abrasive brushing techniques are popular because they help whiten teeth.

Although abrasives eliminate stains and debris from the teeth, they also eliminate enamel. The primary function of enamel is to protect teeth from decay. It covers each tooth and shields the inner layers of teeth from extreme temperatures, plaque, and acids. However, once enamel is destroyed, it can’t be replaced.

Dentists recommend avoiding dental products that contain ingredients such as:

  • Silicates
  • Hydrated aluminum oxides
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Dehydrated silica gels

Don't Use Too Much Toothpaste

As adults, we tend to cover the entire toothbrush with paste. However, children don’t need a lot of paste because they have small teeth. Dentists state that a pea-sized amount is enough to properly clean your children’s teeth.

 

...And Use the Right Toothbrush

Toothbrushes for children should be small, with soft, round, nylon bristles. Medium and hard bristles are abrasive and can damage tooth enamel. Soft bristles provide a deep clean to the teeth and gums without damaging the gums or enamel. Additionally, avoid using too much pressure, as this may cause receding gumlines.

Use Proper Brushing Techniques

Brush your child's teeth in sections using a circular motion. The outside of the teeth, inside of the teeth, cheeks and gums should be cleaned. Pay particular attention to brushing the tongue. This removes bacteria and freshens your child’s breath. Don't forget to replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months!

You can start to floss once two teeth touch. This typically occurs between the ages of two and six. Flossing early helps children get into the habit of doing it daily. If bleeding occurs, don’t be alarmed! Bleeding is common when starting a flossing routine. This should decrease as the gums become healthier. However, if bleeding is persistent, you should consult a pediatric dentist.

Watch the Clock

To avoid tooth decay, children should brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes. Brushing less frequently increases the chance that your child will develop cavities or tooth decay. Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. Over 16 million children suffer from tooth decay every year.

Start Early

You do not have to wait for your child's teeth to come in to practice good dental habits. You can use a damp cloth to clean a toddler’s gums by gently wiping away residual food. This helps instill good dental habits early on in your children's lives.

You can start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge. At 12 months, a soft children’s toothbrush and water can be used to clean the teeth. Dentists recommend introducing toothpaste at 18 months.

Oral hygiene is important for maintaining healthy gums and teeth throughout your kid’s life. Starting proper brushing techniques at a young age helps solidify the importance of dental care in children. Good dental habits are critical in preventing cavities and infant tooth decay. By following this guide, you will be ready to choose the best dental products for your kid.