Parents and caregivers are constantly bombarded with choices. What is the best school for my child? How much is too much sugar? Should Bobby join the Boy Scouts or baseball? When it comes to best dental care practices for kids, options can sometimes feel just as overwhelming. Among the many choices, parents often wonder if there’s a best kids toothpaste their child should be using. We may not be able to help you with some of those other parental conundrums, but when it comes to toothpaste choices, we’ve got you covered!
Three Simple Factors to Help You Pick the Best Kids Toothpaste
“Cavity protection,” “includes fluoride,” “bubblegum flavor” … simply a few phrases you’ll find on toothpaste packaging intended for children. Every day it seems there are more and more options specifically targeted toward children. How, with what feels like an overabundance of dental products, is a parent supposed to know which toothpaste is the best kids toothpaste?
To help narrow the choices for best kids toothpaste, here are three main staples to consider:
- Find a Toothpaste That Contains Fluoride: Almost all pediatric dentists, including Dr. Mona, will make sure that your child receives a fluoride or SDF Fluoride treatment at each six-month checkup and cleaning. Why? To begin with, fluoride is one of the safest and most effective means of preventing tooth decay and cavities. The fluoride provided by the dentist is much more concentrated than fluoride sources available through public water systems and toothpaste. With that said, a toothpaste that contains fluoride is always a good idea to ensure optimum protection against the bacteria produced by sugars consumed by your little one through his/her food and drinks.
- Choose a Toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance: Did you know that it’s mandatory for all toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to contain fluoride? Manufacturers must also ensure that no flavoring agents that lead to tooth decay or evidence of supporting the compromise of safety are associated with their toothpaste to earn the seal. See an abbreviated list of toothpastes below.
- Attempt to Pick a Toothpaste with a Yummy Taste: Again, most over-the-counter toothpastes targeted toward children offer kid-friendly flavors such as bubblegum, cotton candy and strawberry. To ensure that these toothpastes are safe, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. As for how true the flavors are to the real thing, your tiny toothpaste connoisseur is sure to offer his/her unbiased opinion. Once she/he finds the perfect taste, the advantage is knowing brushing time will (hopefully) become less of a battle!
Now that you have a little more insight into how to pick the best kids toothpaste, let’s explore a few brushing basics before we look at toothpaste brands for kids.
New awesome toothpaste purchased, check! Cool space unicorn, soft-bristle toothbrush in hand, check! Now what? Based on your child’s age, here are a few brushing and toothpaste guidelines to go by:
- One, Two and Three Crowd
- Children under the age of three only need a small smear of toothpaste, about the size of a rice grain. And, most likely, your toddler will need your help learning to brush softly in an up-and-down motion (never side-to-side).
- Preschoolers and Up
- Children ages three to six, despite their compulsion to squeeze half a tube of toothpaste onto their brush, only need a pea-sized amount. By now they’re most likely able to brush independently, but it’s always a good idea to keep up supervision.
As for what specific brands to choose, here are a few suggestions offered through the ADA’s shopping list:
- Aquafresh for Kids Toothpaste
- Benco Dental PRO-SYS Kids Fluoride Toothgel Bubblegum Flavor
- Colgate for Kids Toothpaste
- Crest Kids SparkleFun Cavity Protection
- Hello Kid’s Fluoride Toothpaste (Blue Raspberry and Bubble Gum)
- Oraline Kids Bubble Gum Flavored Fluoride Toothpaste
- Tom’s of Maine Children’s Gel Fruitilicious
If you have more questions regarding the best kids toothpaste or other ways you can empower healthy oral hygiene habits for your child, Dr. Mona and the entire Kangaroo Smiles Pediatric Dentistry office would love to start a conversation with you! Call us anytime: (978) 425-1496.