ACCESSIBILITY Accessibility
logo
Call (718) 440-1288

What’s the Best Toothpaste for My Child?

Evaluating the many brands of oral products claiming to be “best for children” can be an overwhelming task.  Selecting an appropriately sized toothbrush and a nourishing, cleansing brand of children’s toothpaste is of paramount importance for maintaining excellent oral health.

Why brush primary teeth?

The importance of maintaining the health of primary (baby) teeth is often understated.  Primary teeth are essential for speech production, chewing, jaw development, and they also facilitate the proper alignment and spacing of permanent adult teeth.  Brushing primary teeth prevents bad breath and tooth decay, and also removes the plaque bacteria associated with childhood periodontal disease.

What differences are there among toothpaste brands?

Though all toothpastes are not created equal, most brands generally contain abrasive ingredients to remove stains, soapy ingredients to eliminate plaque, fluorides to strengthen tooth enamel, and some type of pleasant-tasting flavoring.

The major differences between brands are the thickness of the paste, the level of fluoride content, and the type of flavoring.  Although fluoride strengthens enamel and repels plaque bacteria, too much of it can actually harm young teeth – a condition known as dental fluorosis.  Children between the ages of one and four years old are most at risk for this condition, so fluoride levels should be carefully monitored during this time.

Be aware that adult and non-ADA approved brands of toothpaste often contain harsher abrasives, which remove tooth enamel and weaken primary teeth.  In addition, some popular toothpaste brands contain sodium lauryl sulfate (shown as “SLS” on the package), which cause painful mouth ulcers in some children.

So which toothpaste brand should I choose?

The AAPD recommends that a child brush with a fluoridated toothpaste, regardless of their age. The more important question is the amount of toothpaste that should be used. For ages two and under, a smear amount or the size of a grain of rice is recommended , for ages three and above, a pea size amount is suggested. If the child does ingest tiny amounts of toothpaste, don’t worry; this is perfectly normal and will cease with time and encouragement. 

Flavoring is largely unimportant, so the child can play an integral role in choosing whatever type of toothpaste tastes most pleasant.

Home oral care should begin before the emergence of the first tooth.  A cool clean cloth should be gently rubbed along the gums after feeding to remove food particles and bacteria.

Dental fluorosis is not a risk factor for children over the age of eight, but an ADA accepted toothpaste is always the recommended choice for children of any age.

If you have questions or concerns about choosing an appropriate brand of toothpaste for your child, your pediatric dentist will be happy to make recommendations.

Office Location

  • Brooklyn
  • 1636 E. 14th Street Suite 114
  • Brooklyn, New York
  • 11229
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: (718) 440-1288