Recently we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of toothpaste types and brands made specifically for children. There are so many choices that it can be difficult to find one that is best for your child’s oral health. Here are a few quick guidelines to make sure you find one that’s right:
1) Look for the ADA seal. When trying to find the best toothpaste, it’s important to start with one that is recommended by the American Dental Association. Their seal of approval can be found on the box and tube and ensures that the toothpaste has been objectively evaluated for safety by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.
2) Avoid harsh abrasives. Many toothpastes, especially those advertised as “whitening” often contain abrasives that can damage young tooth enamel.
3) Check for fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been shown to dramatically reduce tooth decay. But you should remember to have children spit out toothpaste and avoid swallowing it. Too much fluoride can cause a condition known as fluorosis. For children too young to spit out toothpaste, you may consider using a fluoride free toothpaste or only a small “pea size” amount.
4) Consider the flavor. While not a health related issue, you want to make sure that a toothpaste doesn’t taste bad to your child. Many children often find traditional flavors like mint to be “spicy” and they often prefer the more kid friendly options available today.