When shopping for toothpaste, many people pay most attention to the price. While there is nothing wrong with comparison shopping, each member of your family may have different needs when it comes to the type of toothpaste most appropriate for their long-term oral health. This is true of children as well as adults. Below are some common toothpaste options and factors to consider when buying your child’s toothpaste.
Basic Toothpaste with Fluoride
Any brand of toothpaste that includes fluoride is a basic toothpaste. Fluoride is a substance that includes an ion called an anion that helps to fight tooth decay. Anion means that it sends a negative charge, which is a good thing. A positive charge in toothpaste would make it acidic.
Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
Charcoal toothpaste is a newer trend that has proven effective at keeping teeth clean and eliminating set-in stains from food and drinks. However, it also produces an ingredient that binds to your child’s teeth. Since this can eliminate the effectiveness of some medications, you should check with your child’s doctor and dentist before using charcoal toothpaste.
Toothpaste Made for Sensitive Teeth
Some kids are sensitive to the ingredients in typical toothpaste, which makes toothbrushing painful and unpleasant for them. A toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth blocks the dentine tubules that can cause this reaction. It also includes an ingredient called potassium nitrate than calms overactive nerves in your child’s mouth.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Toothpaste for Your Child
One of the most important things you can do when selecting your child’s toothpaste is look for one that has received a seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). That means the toothpaste has gone through several rounds of testing and proven itself both safe and effective. You will see the ADA seal on both the toothpaste tube and the box it comes in.
Be sure to avoid any toothpaste with harsh abrasives in its list of ingredients. The younger your child, the more likely it is that abrasives will damage his or her tooth enamel. Although abrasives are essential in eliminating plaque and bacteria on the teeth, too much too soon can cause more harm than good. The staff at Nia Pediatric Dentistry would be happy to recommend the most appropriate toothpaste for your child based on his or her age and unique oral healthcare needs.
Fluoride is an essential ingredient in toothpaste, especially for children. It helps to strengthen new teeth and keep plaque and cavities away. Even so, too much fluoride is not good for your child. You should only put a small smear of toothpaste on the toothbrush for kids under age three and a pea-sized amount for kids over age three. Be sure to supervise toothbrushing closely through the preschool years.
Toothpaste flavoring is one last thing to consider. Some children do not care for typical adult flavors such as mint and prefer flavors such as bubble gum or strawberry. There is nothing wrong with this if it helps your child stick with a consistent routine. Please contact us with additional questions or to schedule an appointment.