Selecting the right toothpaste for your child may be overwhelming with so many possibilities available. There are many different brands, types, flavors and bottle designs that it gets tough to choose. How many times have you been in the toiletry aisle staring at all the options?
Read below for some tips on how to choose toothpaste for your child.
- Look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance
Toothpaste products with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance have been tested for safety, effectiveness, FDA- approved ingredients, manufacturing standards, and false advertising claims. Many products will have the green seal printed directly on the packaging. You can also search this list for approved products.
- Choose a toothpaste with fluoride
According to the ADA, all children should use toothpaste with fluoride but it’s important to regulate how much toothpaste your child is using. We recommend using a smear of toothpaste until age three. Older children should aim for a pea-size amount. You may need to put the toothpaste on the toothbrush for your child if you find them using too much or too little. Also, you should remind your child not to swallow it!
- Find a flavor your child likes
Don’t force your child to brush with a flavor of toothpaste they don’t like. Doing so will have a negative effect their willingness to brush often. Sometimes kids dislike minty toothpaste because it feels “spicy”, “tingly” or “cold” to them. Try a more mild taste, such as strawberry or watermelon, especially for younger children.
- Keep the product fun
We encourage parents to make brush time as fun as possible so that children will enjoy brushing. Children may be much more likely to enjoy brush time if the toothpaste features their favorite cartoon characters on it. However, sometimes these products marketed to children aren’t the best choice for your child. If you can’t find toothpaste that your child will enjoy, you can always add stickers to the tube.
- If your child is prone to canker sores or other flare ups, avoid toothpaste containing SLS.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, commonly referred to as SLS, is an ingredient found in most popular toothpastes. Oral products containing SLS may contribute to the recurrence of aphthous ulcers, also known as canker sores. If your child is prone to oral flare ups, it’s best to use toothpaste that does not contain SLS.
Ask your pediatric dentist if you have specific questions about what kind of toothpaste is best for your child. Children with specific needs may require specific types of toothpaste, such as children with sensitive teeth or bad breath. At Pediatric Dental Group of New York, we’re always here to help.