May 24, 2019
The dental care aisle at your local supermarket is full of choices — all the different types of toothpaste can be a little overwhelming! Do children have specific toothpaste needs? Could some toothpastes actually be bad for your child? A pediatric dentist is here to clear up some of the confusion around toothpastes so you can choose the product that is best for your little one’s precious smile.
Stick to Kids’ Toothpastes
Adult toothpastes often contain more ingredients than those that are meant for children. For example, they might contain brighteners, peroxide, and antimicrobials — in most cases, such ingredients are completely unnecessary for kids. Until your child turns 12 years old or so, they should stick to using a toothpaste that is geared specifically for young mouths.
Another benefit of choosing kids’ products relates to brushing motivation. Often, kids find it boring to brush with a basic mint-flavored paste. Toothpastes for kids tend to come in a broad range of fun flavors that will make them excited to keep those pearly whites shining bright.
Avoid Harsh Ingredients
Some toothpastes contain agents like phosphates and alumina, which are abrasives. For adults, abrasive agents help to remove plaque from teeth and polish the tooth enamel. However, they might be a little too much for developing teeth. Overusing them could lead to dental sensitivity in your child.
Also, some parents choose to avoid toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is an agent that gives toothpastes their foaming action. It can cause mouth ulcers in some children. If your child has developed such sores in their mouth, switching to an SLS-free toothpaste might be the key to ending this painful problem.
Look for the ADA Seal of Approval
The American Dental Association assesses various dental products and only approves ones that are proven to be safe and effective. Also, the ADA only puts its seal on products that contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and replace small bits of it that get worn away throughout the day. It is also essential for the initial development of teeth.
The ADA seal further reassures you that none of the flavoring agents in a toothpaste are dangerous. For example, if a toothpaste contains sugar to make it more palatable, there is no way that the ADA would approve it.
Ask for Recommendations
Your local dentist for toddlers may have a favorite brand of toothpaste that they recommend for their patients. Next time you bring your child in for a checkup, feel free to ask any questions you have about picking oral hygiene products for your little one.
Do all the toothpaste options out there have you confused? Use the above tips to choose a product that will help your child safely maintain a clean, fresh smile.
About the Author
Dr. James Forester is a board-certified pediatric dentist who loves to interact with both his patients and his patients’ parents and guardians. He is always happy to provide advice on how you can best care for your child’s smile at home. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Forester and our practice, contact our team today at 805-592-2020.
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