What is the best toothpaste for kids? The answer is any kind that they’ll use, said every parent out there. Seriously, though, although choosing a kid-friendly toothpaste isn’t difficult, the key is finding one that your little one will like and that adheres to American Dental Association and American Pediatric Association standards. Fortunately, there are a variety of choices on the market today to satisfy even the pickiest of little ones.
Let Them Choose
Dentists agree that establishing a lifetime of healthy oral hygiene habits begins at an early age. Having your child choose his or her toothpaste is a crucial part of this process. It also makes common sense as your kids will be more prone to use a product that they themselves have selected and, more importantly, like. There are a plethora of different flavors of toothpaste that are targeted at children, from bubble gum to fruit to mild mint. Cartoon characters often adorn these products to make them more enticing. It’s not uncommon for kids to try a few different flavors before they settle into one that they really like.
Regardless of what flavor of toothpaste you end up buying, it’s important to read the label to ensure the product is age-appropriate for your toddler or child. Before the age of 3, children should not use fluoride-based toothpaste because their gag reflexes are not fully formed and they are likely to swallow an inadvertent amount of the product. Instead, opt for fluoride-free training toothpastes to get your child in the habit of brushing. From the ages of 3 to 8, fluoride toothpaste is appropriate; however, it’s important to stick with toothpaste that is targeted to children specifically as whiteners and other ingredients could be damaging to developing teeth.
Smiles All Around
Finding the right toothpaste for your child at the right age means they’ll form good brushing habits early on. This, in turn, will likely translate to fewer cavities and less dental visits down the road. Studies also show that strong oral hygiene promotes good health overall. Who knew that choosing kids’ toothpaste could have so much sway?