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Selecting the Right Toothpaste for a Toddler

If you’re the parent of a toddler, finding the right toothpaste for those tiny new baby teeth can be a daunting task, which is why we’ve compiled this information to help walk you through the process. First, you should know that it’s never too early to start your baby on the road to good oral health. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends that you begin to wipe your baby’s gums with either a warm, clean washcloth or moist gauze when they’re just a few days old. Later, as your toddler begins to develop baby teeth, you should schedule your little one for his or her first dental visit. And when your child is ready for tooth brushing, use a soft-bristled brush designed for toddlers, and use this guide to choose the right toothpaste.

  • Check the label. Make sure the toothpaste you choose has been developed for toddlers and babies. Other toothpastes – those intended for older children and adults – contain chemicals and whitening agents that can actually harm your child’s tooth enamel.
  • Pick one with fluoride. According to the American Dental Association, using fluoride on your toddler’s teeth will not only help protect their teeth now, but as they grow as well.
  • Choose an appealing flavor. You want tooth brushing to be a pleasant experience for your child, so find a flavor that he or she will like. If you’re not sure, try different flavors until you find their favorite.
  • Consider a natural alternative. All-natural toothpastes are becoming more and more popular, and can be a great choice for your toddler – especially since most of these types don’t contain chemicals. Just be sure to choose a brand that has the ADA acceptance seal on the label.

Once you’ve found the right toothpaste, along with a baby toothbrush, you’ll be ready to introduce your child to tooth brushing. Use only a tiny amount of paste on the brush and be gentle as you clean those new baby teeth. If you can, make this a special and enjoyable time with your child. The more positive experiences they have with dental hygiene, the more likely they will be to continue those practices as they grow into adults. And remember to schedule your baby’s first dental visit as soon as their first baby teeth erupt. Your dentist should be one that offers kid’s dentistry or family dentistry services, so you can be sure that your child will be in the hands of dental professionals who are accustomed to making young children feel at ease at the dentist’s office.