Choosing the Right Toothpaste

pointers to understanding toothpaste

When your child starts developing their baby teeth, you might begin to worry about how to properly take care of their teeth and prevent problems like early childhood tooth decay. It is a condition that affects millions of children. With hundreds of varieties of toothpaste to choose from, it is not always easy to narrow down which one would work best for your child. Here is a guide and some pointers to understanding toothpaste varieties and how to choose the best version for your little one.

The entire staff at Smile Time Kids LOVES children. We enjoy their budding personalities and their constant search for answers. We are a compassionate, caring, and patient team when working with your child. Their young smiles are important to us. Call us today at 765-373-3100 with any questions you have regarding your child or stop by Smile Time Kids at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN, 47374

Tips for Making Dental Care Easier for Kids

Do you have a difficult time getting your child to brush and floss like they should? Daily dental care does not need to be an ongoing conflict. To make brushing easier for your child, consider letting them help shop for their dental supplies. You might also consider using plaque detection tablets made with a food-safe dye that lets your child see what they are brushing away or leaving behind. Oftentimes, when children understand why they need to brush and enjoy the products they are using, they are more motivated to take care of their smiles.

Understanding Toothpaste Ingredients

Many people assume that all toothpastes are the same. Before you buy a toothpaste for your child, you should read the label to understand the ingredients. Here are a few of the most common toothpaste ingredients, what they do, and how they could affect your child’s teeth.

  • Abrasives- Many toothpastes, especially those designed to whiten teeth, contain abrasives. They are used to scrape away plaque and tartar on teeth. Common abrasives are calcium carbonate (baking soda) and silicates (sand). These rub against the teeth to create a smooth, polished surface. Most children do not need abrasives to clean their teeth. Using these gritty pastes too often could cause problems like gum erosion, especially if your child may not know how to brush quite yet. Unless advised by Smile Time Kids, do not let your child use toothpaste with abrasives.
  • Artificial Sweeteners- Have you ever wondered how toothpastes taste sweet without causing dental decay? The answer is artificial sweeteners. Sweeteners and flavoring agents can create exciting flavors that your child will love, including bubble gum, lemon-lime, fruit, and even mint.
  • Anti-Drying Agents- Without anti-drying agents, toothpaste would be too hard to push through the tube. Some organic products do not contain anti-drying agents, which can create application problems for your child.
  • Thickening Agents- Toothpaste also contains thickening agents, which makes it easier to work with. Many thickening agents come from gum molecules or even seaweed extracts that are safe for children.
  • Detergents- Detergents are the ingredients in toothpaste that are responsible for killing the bacteria in the mouth. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common toothpaste detergent, creating suds and washing the inside of the mouth. Many new toothpastes contain alternative detergents that are also effective.
  • Fluoride- Fluoride, which is a naturally occurring mineral present in every natural water source, strengthens the dental enamel on a microscopic level. Fluoride can also help to neutralize bacterial acids in your child’s mouth, warding off decay. Never buy a toothpaste for your child that does not contain fluoride.

Toothpaste and Your Child's Dental Health

Most toothpastes contain a variety of ingredients to achieve different dental hygiene results. Unfortunately, not every variety is suitable for children. Anti-plaque and anti-tartar toothpastes can help your child to ward off dental decay. But a toothpaste containing strong abrasives may be more suitable for a serious adult smoker than they are for a child with brand new teeth.

When you shop for a toothpaste, look for varieties marketed especially for children. Pay attention to whether they contain ingredients designed to tackle other concerns. For example, some toothpastes help people with specific issues like gingivitis or sensitivity. Those are not concerning for most children. Remember that herbal toothpaste varieties may not contain essential ingredients like fluoride or detergents. 

When shopping, consider purchasing smaller tubes of several different varieties and letting your child try one each day. Remember that children under the age of three only need a drop about the size of a grain of rice. Children who are at risk of swallowing toothpaste should not be using a dollop larger than a pea. Talk with Smile Time Kids to choose a toothpaste that is appropriate for your child’s age, dental needs, and personal habits. When your child is about ten years old and understands how to brush and floss properly on their own, they are ready for an adult toothpaste.

Make an Appointment for Your Child Today!

Smile Time Kids would like to share the recommendations of The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. They suggest bringing your child in for their first dental appointment as soon as their first tooth erupts or by the time your child is one, whichever occurs first. We will work with your child and treat them like family. We love happy and healthy children. Afterwards, children should visit at normal intervals just like you would schedule your own dental checkups. Call 765-373-3100 today to make an appointment with Smile Time Kids. Our office is located at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN 47374. Let us keep your child healthy together.