There was a time when there were only a handful of toothpastes to choose from. Today, there are almost too many to count! As a parent, it can be difficult to decide which toothpaste type and brand to have your children use. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to help you pick the right product.
What’s Best for Brushing?
As you choose a toothpaste for your child, keep the following in mind.
Look to the ADA
Created in 1931 and still the most recognized and trusted “stamp of approval” today, the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance is trusted by dentists and consumers alike to indicate that a toothpaste or any other dental product meets strict guidelines for safety and effectiveness. If a toothpaste bears this mark, you can be confident that it’s a good option.
Does it contain fluoride?
The ADA recommends using fluoridated toothpaste to help fight cavities. It is proven effective in cleaning and protecting teeth. That said, there are concerns about children consuming fluoride in the course of brushing their teeth. Be sure that they understand not to swallow toothpaste and that they rinse thoroughly after brushing.
Find the right flavor
While most adults would say they enjoy the flavor of a mint toothpaste, children sometimes feel that it is “too spicy” for them. Thankfully, there are many flavors available today, from berry to bubblegum. And, the more they like the flavor, the easier it will be to get them to brush!
Carefully assess abrasives
Some toothpastes contain abrasives with the idea that they will do a better job of cleaning teeth. But, use caution here. A toothpaste that is too abrasive can damage tooth enamel.
Talk with your dentist about “specialized” toothpastes
Generally speaking, a “standard” toothpaste will work just fine for most kids. Before selecting a product that is focused on a specific issue like tartar control, breath freshening, whitening, sensitivity, etc., be sure to talk with your dentist.
Don’t Forget Technique and Timing
It’s great that you are taking the time to choose the right toothpaste for your child. However, just as important as what they brush with is how and how often they brush. Be sure that your kids are brushing gently, cleaning all tooth surfaces, and giving a good effort for a full two minutes twice a day. They should also be flossing daily. With the right toothpaste, a little oversight, and lots of encouragement, kids can learn to love their oral care routine.
We’re proud to provide pediatric dental services along the Colorado Front Range in Lafayette (303.604.9500), Longmont (303.702.9501), and Thornton (303.452.9502). Contact us to make an appointment or learn more about our practice.