Baby toothpaste is a safe alternative from traditional (adult) toothpaste for babies and toddlers to use. Babies and toddlers don’t always know how to spit out excess toothpaste, and traditional kinds of toothpaste contain ingredients that aren’t intended for consumption. It’s important to care for your baby’s teeth before they come in—by wiping their mouth with a soft cloth. But, once their first tooth arrives, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends switch to using a soft-bristled toothbrush and baby toothpaste. If you have any questions about pediatric oral health, contact Wilderness Station Pediatric Dentistry in Lincoln, NE.
Should I use baby toothpaste with fluoride?
Yes. We recommend using baby toothpaste with fluoride in it as soon as your child’s first tooth appears. Baby teeth are an important part of a child’s overall health and can develop cavities just like adult teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste is a safe, preventive measure to reduce the risk of cavities forming. Decayed baby teeth can interfere with good nutrition and speech development so it’s crucial to keep baby teeth healthy.
Fluoride-free toothpaste will help to clean teeth, but it doesn’t protect teeth against decay the same way a fluoride toothpaste will. If you are uncertain about using a fluoride toothpaste, contact your child’s pediatric dentist.
How much toothpaste should I use on my baby’s teeth?
As children grow and develop, their oral health recommendations also change. From the size of toothbrush to the amount of toothpaste.
- Children 0-2: Use a baby toothbrush, moistened with water, and a very small smear of low fluoride toothpaste — no more than the size of a grain of rice. Make gentle circles on the front, back, and top surfaces of all teeth and along the gum line then help your child angle their mouth down so the toothpaste dribbles out into the sink.
- Children 3-6: Use a child-size toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of low fluoride toothpaste. At this age, brushing should always be a team effort. Help your child brush and ensure they spit out as much excess toothpaste as possible.
- Children 6-9: Use a pea-sized amount of standard fluoride toothpaste and continue with a kid-size toothbrush or introduce an electric toothbrush.
- Children 10+: Time for an adult toothbrush! Each child is different, but typically around age 10, children can use an adult toothbrush comfortably.
Creating positive oral health habits in children should start as soon as possible—from wiping babies gums to brushing when the first tooth appears. Visiting a pediatric dentist helps keep kids on the right track and helps establish good oral hygiene throughout childhood into adulthood. Using baby toothpaste with fluoride is a great start to helping prevent cavities. If you have questions about what’s the best option for your child, contact our Lincoln, NE pediatric dental office.