Walk down any oral hygiene aisle at your local grocery store and you’ll see shelves after shelves piled high with all different types of toothpaste. Finding the right brand of toothpaste for your child can be especially important if they are dealing with any sort of oral health condition.
We here at Little Heroes Dentistry know that because there are so many options, you might be tempted just to pick whichever and assume they are all the same. Luckily, our local pediatric dentists near you know exactly what you should look for when choosing the right toothpaste for your little hero.
Here is what our dentists (and dentist nationwide) recommend.
Look for toothpastes that contain fluoride.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that families purchase toothpaste that contains fluoride in it.
Fluoridated toothpastes are, hands down, your best bet for really protecting your child’s teeth. These types of toothpaste help to:
Parents should begin using fluoridated toothpaste once the first teeth come out. Only a tiny smear is required and helps to minimize the amount of toothpaste your child swallows. Once the child becomes better at spitting, a pea-sized amount can be used. Continue to help your child until at least age five or six.
While fluoridated toothpaste really delivers when it comes to your children’s teeth, do make sure that they rinse and spit thoroughly.
Fluoride, if consumed excessively, can lead to fluorosis, a condition that causes discoloration, streaks, stains, surface irregularities, or rough, pitted enamel on your child’s teeth. This usually happens during the first eight years of life when permanent teeth are forming.
Luckily, there are many forms of treatment for fluorosis that a skilled dentist can assist you or your child with like bonding, crowns, or veneers.
Avoid toothpaste that contains harmful amounts of abrasives.
Abrasives in toothpaste are meant to remove plaque and other debris on your teeth while buffing out those surface stains. They are considered an inactive ingredient because they don’t reduce the risk of developing cavities or gum diseases.
The thing is, if your child’s toothpaste has a relative dentin abrasivity (RDA) number that is really high, abrasives can do a number to your child’s enamel. Avoid purchasing whitening toothpaste that contains:
The fact remains, however, that your toothpaste will need some abrasives in it. You’ll want to stay with a toothpaste that has an RDA number around 0 to 100, which is considered low to medium. Remember, the less abrasives, the less enamel is worn away.
Select a toothpaste that has an enjoyable flavor.
A toothpaste with a flavor that isn’t favorable with your children may cause them to disregard their twice-a-day brushing duties. That includes flavors that have mint or other traditional toothpaste flavors.
Kids like fun flavors like berries or bubblegum, and if their favorite hero is on the tube, they may be more included to fight off the sugarbugs.
While sweeteners like saccharin or sorbitol could be a concern when using a toothpaste, the ADA would never approve of a toothpaste that has decay-causing sugars.
Make sure the toothpaste has the ADA seal of acceptance.
Lastly, look for your toothpaste to have an ADA seal of acceptance. It is usually located on the box that the toothpaste comes in.
Products that are set up for review by the ADA are put through stringent testing procedures to ensure that you receive a product that works. They earn the seal by providing scientific evidence that shows the ADA Council that the product is safe and efficient at combating tooth decay and gum diseases.
Along with the right toothpaste, a routine checkup and cleaning is another great way to ensure excellent oral hygiene for your children.
When your children brush twice a day with the right toothpaste and floss once a day, they are on their way to a healthier mouth and stronger teeth. Pair that with a dentist visit, and you’ve got a great smile.
Contact us at any of our locations in Mission, San Juan, or Laredo to schedule your dentist appointment today!