What kind of toothpaste should my child use?
This is a question that is often asked by parents at our pediatric dentistry office in Havertown. There are “training” toothpastes that do not contain fluoride as well as numerous brands of toothpastes with fluoride that have different flavors and textures. The two most important factors however, are that your child likes the taste and secondly, the toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. Toothpastes that have the American Dental Association seal of acceptance have been tested and proven to contain an appropriate and effective amount of fluoride. Young children should use kids’ toothpaste as the adult toothpastes tend to have abrasives that may be too strong for children’s oral tissues.
How much toothpaste should my child use?
For children under 2 years, a smear about the size of a grain of rice is appropriate. For those over 2 years, pea-size amount of toothpaste is sufficient. Children who are able to spit out can use slightly larger amount of toothpaste. Using too much fluoride toothpaste for children who do not spit puts them at risk for developing white or brown streaks on teeth, also known as fluorosis. Though young children want to brush their teeth by themselves, they do not have the ability to brush effectively and need an adult to perform or assist with brushing.