It is important to establish a dental hygiene routine as soon as the first baby tooth appears. The child should understand why it is necessary to brush two to three times a day and make this routine part of his or her daily routine.
The choice and use of children's toothpaste can be a question. Here we talk about when a child should start brushing, which toothpastes to choose and which ones to avoid.
The use of toothpaste for children
Adults like minty tasting toothpastes that leave their breath feeling fresh, while kids prefer fruity flavors. But that's not the only reason there are toothpastes for kids.
Why use toothpaste for children?
Adults and children do not need the same amount of fluoride. A real shield against cavities, fluoride, when absorbed in excess, can damage the teeth. And, for it to be toxic, the child would have to swallow 7 tubes of fluoridated toothpaste in one go.
On baby teeth, fluorosis usually appears as stains on the teeth that range from white to brownish. It is therefore important to use a child's toothpaste that is adapted to their fluoride needs.
At what age should I start using baby toothpaste?
While it is recommended to start brushing a child's teeth as soon as the first baby tooth appears, the use of children's toothpaste is not useful before six months.
Some experts recommend starting with water brushing when baby teeth arrive and waiting until age two to introduce toothpaste into the routine.
The French Union for Oral Health (UFSBD) recommends the use of toothpaste from the age of six months in very small quantities (a trace of toothpaste). The fluoride content of the toothpaste should not exceed 1000 ppm.
How to choose the toothpaste for baby or child?
Taste influences parents in their choice of toothpaste because it encourages routine. But the fluoride content should be the number one criterion for choosing a child's or baby's toothpaste.
Should I choose a fluoride-free baby toothpaste?
The UFSBD advises against the use of fluoride-free toothpaste, which would increase the risk of cavities.
It recommends a fluoridated toothpaste but with a fluoride content adapted to the child's age and caries risk. Here are the toothpaste dosages recommended by the UFSBD:
- Toothpaste trace: 1000 ppm in the width of the brush from six months to two years,
- Toothpaste pea: 1000 ppm from two years to three years,
- Toothpaste pea: 1000 ppm to 1450 ppm from three years to six years,
- Toothpaste hazelnut: 1450 ppm to 5000 ppm from age six to adult.
Are there dangerous children's toothpastes?
There are several types of toothpaste that should be avoided for children:
- Toothpastes without fluoride that would increase the risk of cavities,
- Toothpastes containing titanium dioxide, a substance classified as carcinogenic.
In addition, the tube or carton of children's toothpaste should be checked for other toxic ingredients. Some of the things to avoid include:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate,
- Propylene glycol,
- Butylated hydroxyanisole,
- Zinc sulfate,
- Hydrated silica.
What are the risks if baby swallows the toothpaste?
Many babies swallow their toothpaste. Toothpaste itself is safe to swallow.
The risk to the child is that he or she may absorb too much fluoride. However, this risk is reduced because baby toothpastes have a very low fluoride content.
When this happens, do not put toothpaste back on the child's brush. This extra dose could lead to an overdose of fluoride.