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What to Consider When Choosing Children’s Toothpaste
Many parents have different opinions when it comes to picking the right children's toothpaste. However, there are dozens of brands you can choose from. From brand names to organic toothpaste, it often comes down to the parent's preference.
What is the best type of children's toothpaste?
The answer is simple: it depends. Before babies develop any primary teeth, no toothpaste is required at all. It is advisable to wipe their gums with washcloths that are soft and moistened. This should preferably be done at least twice daily, before bedtime and mostly after feeding. The use of toothpaste should be started as soon as the first teeth start to appear. During this period, a very small amount, preferably the size of a grain of rice, should be used at least twice a day.
Between 3 and 24 months, kids' dentists recommend using a fluoride-free toothpaste. Also, use a wet and an appropriately sized toothbrush. Between the age of 24 and 36 months, regular children’s toothpaste should be used. These toothpastes contain very small amounts of fluoride and other ingredients that may irritate the child.
Around the age of between 7 and 8 years, it is fine to start moving away from children's toothpaste to regular brands. Minty toothpastes are often recommended since this discourages the child from swallowing. Only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste should be used at this point.
Things to consider when choosing a child's toothpaste
There are several things parents should keep an eye out for when choosing a toothpaste. Some popular factors include:
Fluoride is the most important ingredient in a toothpaste to look out for. As long as this ingredient is available, the type or brand is not important. Fluoride helps to fight off plaque and cavities. Make sure the child spits out the toothpaste to avoid getting too much fluoride in the body. This can lead to a condition known as fluorosis. For children less than two years old, use the smallest amount of toothpaste possible.
2. The American Dental Association seal of approval
Parents are advised to be extra careful when shopping for a toothpaste. Make sure the toothpaste is approved and recommended by the American Dental Association or ADA. These toothpastes have been tested to ensure that they are safe to use.
Making sure the toothpaste tastes good to the infant is very important. Fruit-flavored toothpaste is often preferred by children. Always choose a kid-friendly option.
4. Seek advice from a pediatric dentist
Talking to a kids' dentist can provide you with the best advice on how to choose a toddler’s toothpaste. They advise parents to shun any toothpaste containing harsh abrasives that can erode and wear out an infant’s fragile tooth enamel. Certain abrasives are essential in polishing teeth and removing plaque, but they can be damaging to children’s teeth.
At the end of the day, good oral hygiene is only half of the battle when it comes to keeping your kid's teeth healthy. Regular visits to the dentist are just as important. When was the last time your child was examined by a dentist? Time to set an appointment.
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