Parents aiming to live more simply may be wondering if homemade toothpaste is appropriate for children. Here's a little about the differences between homemade and store-bought toothpastes for kids.
For children under the age of two, a small toothbrush with water is best for brushing. In fact, many kids’ toothpastes are specifically for ages two and up, so until then you can hold off on using toothpaste.
If your child is over the age of two, or if you feel the need to use more than plain water, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of store-bought vs homemade toothpaste options.
What's in store-bought toothpaste?
Toothpastes available in pharmacies or grocery stores help clean teeth and gums.
Ingredients in toothpastes vary, but most include fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that can help to strengthen tooth enamel.
Many varieties of toothpastes also include gentle abrasives to help remove stains and food debris from teeth without scratching.
What's in homemade toothpaste?
Ingredients in recipes for homemade toothpastes differ greatly from each other and from store-bought toothpastes. Recipes for homemade toothpastes can include ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice, coconut oil and charcoal.
These ingredients may be natural, but that doesn't mean that they are safe for your child's teeth. Some ingredients such as lemon juice are acidic, while others such as baking soda are mildly abrasive and could be harmful to your child's tooth enamel.
It's important to note that homemade toothpastes are also missing a key cavity-fighting ingredient: fluoride.
By making your own toothpaste at home, you and your kids will miss out on the important benefits that fluoride can provide.
Is homemade toothpaste good or bad?
To protect your child's teeth, be sure to buy a children's toothpaste with fluoride. There are many products that you can make at home, but toothpaste shouldn't be one of them.