When choosing the right toothpaste for your child, the most important factor to consider is your child's age. Here are a few guidelines from our Langley children's dentists to help you to choose the best toothpaste for your child.
Should my 2 year old use toothpaste when brushing?
Toothpaste containing fluoride is generally not recommended for children under 3 years of age, unless your child's dentist feels that there is an unusually high risk of tooth decay. Consult your dentist if you are concerned that your young child requires the additional protection of fluoride when brushing. For most children under 3 years old dentists recommend that brushing be done for the child by an adult, and that just plain water and a soft toothbrush are ideal.
If your dentist has determined that your child is at risk of tooth decay and recommends using a fluoride toothpaste, brush your child's teeth using only a tiny portion of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. This very small amount of toothpaste offers your child a balance between the benefits of fluoride and the risk of developing fluorosis.
Which is the best toothpaste for my 6 year old?
If your child is over 3 years of age, fluoride toothpaste is recommended. There are many child friendly toothpastes available from grocery stores and pharmacies but not all children's toothpastes include fluoride. Shop for a toothpaste that has the symbol of the Canadian Dental Association on the packaging. This symbol assures parents that the toothpaste contains fluoride.
It is a good idea to continue brushing your child's teeth until your son or daughter has developed adequate manual dexterity to brush their own teeth thoroughly. Allowing them to brush their own teeth then taking over to make sure the job is done right is often the best approach. It is recommended that children under 6 years of age be assisted by adult when brushing their teeth.
During brushing only use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a pea, and be sure that your child spits it out. Swallowing excessive amounts of toothpaste may result in dental fluorosis
What is fluorosis?
Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition causing white or brown spots on the adult teeth. Fluorosis is caused by consuming too much fluoride while the teeth are still forming and does not develop after teeth have already erupted. In most cases of fluorosis is caused by young children taking fluoride supplements or swallowing fluoride toothpaste when the water they drink is already fluoridated.