Most of the parents come to us at 32 Sparklets or ask us questions on social media that do we need to start brushing our kids teeth and which is the best toothpaste we can use for the child??
And the answer is YES! Each tooth in the mouth is important and is there for a purpose, whether it is a milk tooth or a permanent tooth. So, it is very very important to start brushing as soon as the first tooth erupts in the baby’s mouth. In fact it is very important to start cleaning the baby’s gums and tongue from the first day of birth.
Starting early is the key. Brushing twice a day is a must to have a good oral hygiene and preserve the milk teeth which are important to later have healthy permanent teeth.
Other doubts are pertaining to the toothpaste. Should we use a fluoride free toothpaste or a fluoridated toothpaste for our child?? When should we start using the toothpaste?? Which is the best toothpaste available?? My child doesn’t know how to spit, so should I be still using a tooth paste??
Here this post will help you solve all the doubts regarding what, when, how much of the toothpaste you need to use for your child.
When Should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
Brushing of kids teeth should start as soon as the first tooth erupts in the baby’s mouth. When the child drinks milk or eats food, it starts getting deposited on the surface of the tooth, whether it is a single tooth or many teeth. So, to remove these deposits we need to brush the child’s teeth. If ignored, the deposits will start demineralising the teeth and causing cavities.
So, we need to start brushing the child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts in the baby’s mouth to preserve them and save the child from the discomfort and the pain.
Do not believe the myths like, “You do not need to brush the baby’s teeth until all of them erupt.” or “Milk teeth are not important as they will eventually fall off.”
Why should I use a toothpaste for brushing my child’s teeth?
Toothbrush alone just cleans the surface of the tooth and removes the deposits. But a best toothpaste will help in protecting the tooth from getting decayed. So, it is very important to clean the child’s teeth with an age appropriate toothpaste, twice a day.
Not only will it clean the tooth and protect it from cavities, but it will also give a freshness in the mouth of the baby.
Can I use an adult toothpaste for my child?
It is a big NO. An adult toothpaste contains approximately 1000ppm of Fluoride, which is not safe if swallowed by children especially under the age of 6 years. It might cause fluorosis. A kids toothpaste contains less than 500ppm of fluoride. If the kids age appropriate toothpaste is used in the correct amount and even if it is swallowed by the child, then there won’t be any harm.
So, it is always preferred to use a kids age appropriate toothpaste.
Which is the best toothpaste for my child?
Any kids age appropriate toothpaste is good for your child. But it is preferred to use a Fluoridated kids toothpaste as directed by ADA in 2014. A correct amount of fluoridated toothpaste will help in preventing cavities by reducing enamel dissolution and increasing fluoride uptake of enamel. It helps in creating a fluoride reservoir, and thus preventing cavities. Kids brushing twice a day with an age appropriate fluoridated toothpaste have considerably less number of cavities than kids brushing only once a day.
So, it is advised to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a kids age appropriate fluoridated toothpaste. most of the toothpastes are age specific, e.g. 0-2 years, 2-6 years, 6 years+. According to the ADA you can use a pea size of adult toothpaste once the child turns 9 years of age.
What amount of toothpaste should I use for my Child?
The most important thing is to decide what amount of toothpaste you should apply on the child’s toothbrush.
- Children Below the Age of 3 Years: Smear (Size of a Rice Grain)
- Children Above the Age of 3 Years: A Pea Size of Toothpaste
Water fluoridation is a step taken by the government in most of the countries to help achieve an optimal fluoride level. But in some places in country like ours (India) the level of fluoride in water is high and therefore fluoridated toothpaste can be avoided to prevent fluorosis.
The best thing to do is visit a dentist and get a proper routine dental examination done once every 6 months and your dentist will guide you which toothpaste you need to use for your child.
Which are the best toothpaste available in the market?
There are a plenty of toothpaste available in the market for your child. But which is the best toothpaste is the question.
1. As mentioned above the best thing to do is check for the ADA or IDA seal on the toothpaste.
2. Check for the fluoride level of the toothpaste (prefer a fluoridated toothpaste)
3. Choose the flavor your child likes the best.
Following is a list of best kids fluoridates toothpastes available in the market:
- Colgate kids- This toothpaste is available in all the ages and different flavors. You can use a toothpaste according to your child’s favorite flavor.
- Kidodent- This toothpaste is a non flavored kids fluoridated toothpaste.
- Cheerio- This toothpaste is from Dr. Reddy’s Laboratory and is a gel based kids fluoridated toothpaste. Personally, my daughter loves it.
- Tom’s of Maine Children’s Natural Fluoride Toothpaste- This is a ADA accepted natural kids fluoridated toothpaste in different fruit flavored. It doesn’t contain any artificial flavors and preservatives.
- Aquafresh kids Toothpaste- Not just cavity protection this toothpaste also helps in preventing bad breath. It comes in an amazing bubble gum taste which is one of the favorite among kids.
- Pediflorkidz Toothpaste- Available in four yummy flavors, this toothpaste helps in providing cavity protection and remineralization.
- Crest Kids /crest cavity protection- This anti cavity bubble gum flavored gel toothpaste protects your child’s teeth from cavities.
Besides brushing your child’s teeth and using the best toothpaste for your child, their are a few other pointers you need to remember for a healthy and a beautiful smile:
- 1. Avoid sticky food like chocolate, chips and biscuits.
- 2. If there is no spacing between your child’s milk teeth flossing is a must. For permanent teeth floss twice a day.
- 3. Visit a dentist once every 6 months for a routine dental examination. First dental visit of the child should be done within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by the child’s first birthday, whichever is earlier. Also, looking at your child’s teeth your dentist might recommend your the best toothpaste for your child.
- 4. In case required, your dentist will advise if your child needs fluoride varnish application. If yes, you will have to get it done.
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