FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TOOTHPASTES FOR BABIES
The short answer is yes. As soon as teeth appear, there’s always a risk of tooth decay and cavities. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), along with the ADA, recommends that parents begin using a toothpaste with fluoride as soon as the first tooth appears.
If you have a baby or toddler, use a smear of fluoride toothpaste that’s about the size of a grain of rice. Move up to a pea-sized amount when your child is around age 3 and better able to spit out the toothpaste. Try not to worry if your child swallows a little.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends using cavity-preventing fluoride toothpaste starting with baby’s very first tooth, rather than waiting until age 2 as was previously recommended. Use a rice-grain-sized smear of toothpaste for your baby or toddler, graduating to a pea-sized dollop by age 3.
It’s worth re-emphasizing that when you brush your baby’s teeth, use only a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste – the size of a grain of rice. Be Age-Appropriate: Ensure your baby’s toothpaste is free of artificial colors, preservatives, or sodium lauryl sulfate.
The easiest way to brush a baby’s teeth is to sit them on your knee, with their head resting against your chest. With an older child, stand behind them and tilt their head backwards. Brush the teeth in small circles, covering all the surfaces, and encourage your child to spit the toothpaste out afterwards.
While the American Dental Association has long-recognized fluoride as “safe and effective in preventing tooth decay for both children and adults,” the mineral can pose a threat of toxicity if too much is ingested. This is why pediatric dentists are often cautious about young children and fluoride consumption.
40% of children suffer from preventable tooth decay. This is because of not brushing their teeth properly or not brushing at all. It leads to many other problems, which include pain. Poor dental hygiene may lead to difficulty when chewing, thus poor food digestion.
It’s important to use a fluoride toothpaste, as this helps prevent and control tooth decay. Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around 6 months, but it can be earlier or later). Parents or carers should brush or supervise toothbrushing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children ages 3 to 6. Although it should be avoided if possible, it’s safe for your child to swallow this pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. At this age, brushing should always be a team effort.