When it comes to choosing a toothpaste for your child, you have a lot of options at your fingertips. So many options, in fact, that it can be confusing to know which one to ultimately pick.
There are vastly different formulas, for different needs, and even different age groups. If you’re wondering how long you still have to purchase children’s toothpaste for your child, and when you can start switching to the adult version, keep reading this short blog post.
The main difference between adult and children’s toothpaste is the amount of fluoride found in them. Typically, children’s toothpaste will have a much lower concentration of fluoride than the ones the parents use because over-exposure to fluoride can cause the formation of little white spots on the teeth, known as fluorosis.
Additionally, as an adult, you know not to swallow toothpaste with fluoride, as in certain quantities, it can lead to an upset stomach. Smaller children may have a more difficult time following this instruction, so the lower concentration of fluoride in their toothpaste is just another layer of protection.
You can use fluoride to brush your child’s teeth as long as you only use small concentrations of it. Children’s toothpaste usually has the exact quantity of fluoride written on the label, so be sure to check it and see how much fluoride the child is exposed to.
If you’re using non-fluoride toothpaste, you can mix in a little bit of adult toothpaste and add the compound yourself.
The general rule is that it’s safest to switch your child to regular toothpaste when they can spit, which is usually around age 6 (but it can vary).
It’s best to avoid using adult toothpaste before this, as the child may accidentally swallow the fluoride toothpaste, which can lead to some nausea, stomach pains, or even vomiting.
Caring for a child’s oral health must start early. In fact, even when they are infants, parents should gently clean the gums of the child with a soft cloth or a clean finger.
Brushing should begin the moment their first baby tooth starts to erupt, and around the time they are 2 years old, you may start teaching them how to do it themselves. It’s best to continue to supervise your child’s brushing in the beginning, just to make sure they are doing it right.
Dr. Hany Azer is here to help parents stay on top of their children’s oral health needs with expert pediatric dentistry services delivered with compassion and a warm smile!
Book an appointment at Pediatric Dentistry of Horizon West online, and bring your child in for a consultation.