Many oral products claim to be the “best for children,” so it can be quite overwhelming when the time comes to select the right toothpaste and brush for your children. Still, the proper selection is really important to maintain good oral health in your children.
Many people wonder why they should even brush children’s baby teeth. It is necessary because baby teeth are needed for eating, speaking, and jaw development. Baby teeth are also needed so that the adult teeth come in properly.
Brushing their teeth when your children are young gets them off to a good start to having a healthy mouth for life. It prevents bad breath. Brushing also removes buildup on teeth, stopping periodontal disease and cavities.
Not all toothpastes are equal, but most can be abrasive enough to help remove stains. Most also contain plaque-fighting ingredients and fluoride to strengthen teeth. They also come in flavors that are pleasant to taste so brushing can be more enjoyable.
Toothpastes have other differences as well. Some are thicker than others. Many have different flavors and contain different amounts of fluoride. Though fluoride is really helpful for strengthening teeth, too much of it can be bad for children. They can get a condition known as dental fluorosis if they ingest too much. This is most common in children between ages one and four, so avoiding purchasing toothpastes that are too high in fluoride during this time.
You should also know that adult toothpastes may contain harsher abrasives, which can weaken children’s sensitive primary teeth. Some even contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can cause painful mouth ulcers in young children.
When choosing the right toothpaste for your children, you should choose one that is age appropriate. While you want to start good home care habits early (even before the first tooth comes in), you won’t need toothpaste until the first tooth arrives.
When you first start brushing your children’s teeth, you should select toothpaste that is free of fluoride. Usually, it is considered baby toothpaste. To get your children off on the right foot, choose a flavor that is pleasant to them.
When your children get to be about two or three or so, you can switch to a toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should also make sure the toothpaste has the ADA logo on it. Use the smallest amount and work with your children to practice spitting out the toothpaste. This takes time and patience, so stick to it. If your children swallow a small amount of fluoride, it won’t hurt them.
If you have questions or concerns about choosing an appropriate brand of toothpaste for your children, contact us today.