Which Toothpaste Should I Use For My Child's Teeth?
After perusing the toothbrush and toothpaste shelves of your local grocery store or pharmacy, you may soon become overwhelmed by the options. You might even be asking, what is the best toothpaste for children, and what are the best brushing processes for kids?
You can contact our pediatric dentist to have all your pressing questions answered, but we’ll also provide some helpful information below. Before long, you can be making sure your child’s oral health needs are taken care of at each stage of their life.
What Is the Best Toothpaste for Children?
Most pediatric dentists won’t recommend a specific toothpaste as the best toothpaste for children. Instead, they will suggest any child’s toothpaste brand is suitable as long as it has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance and contains fluoride.
Fluoride contains fluorine, which is a natural element that can reduce the risk of tooth decay. While some communities have fluoride added into their water supply, not all of them do, which makes its inclusion in your preferred toothpaste even more critical.
Fluoride works by encouraging remineralization of areas that are weakened and starting to develop cavities. Fluoride may also prevent the loss of tooth enamel in the first place. According to research, communities with water fluoridation have been able to lower decay rates by at least 50%.
What Is the Best Toothbrush for Children?
The best toothbrush for children can depend on their age and tooth development. The AAPD recommends soft-bristled brushes with comfortable handles and small heads for children. The head size of a toothbrush should grow with your child’s age.
Both manual and powered toothbrushes are suitable options, with powered brushes offering a variety of child-friendly features. They might rotate, oscillate, or pulsate, and you can also purchase sonic brushes with fast sweeping motions.
Some toothbrushes have timers to ensure children are brushing for an adequate length of time in each part of their mouth. Talk to your pediatric dentist about the best toothbrush for your child’s unique needs.
At What Age Should Teeth Cleaning Begin?
It’s only natural to assume that oral health regimes should begin as soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts. While this is the perfect time to book an appointment with a pediatric dentist, it doesn’t have to be when you start paying attention to your child’s oral health. Care can begin as soon as they are born.
Use a soft infant toothbrush, or even a cloth with water, to clean your child’s gums from birth. Pediatric dentists and child experts recommend this practice to reduce the risk of early childhood caries, sometimes referred to as nursing caries or baby bottle tooth decay.
As soon as a child’s diet includes food and beverages beyond formula and breast milk, their erupted teeth can be at risk of decay. Therefore, the earlier you start your child’s oral health regime, the easier it can be to set them up with excellent dental habits for life.
Correct Teeth Brushing Techniques for Children
When your child’s teeth start to appear, use a soft, age-appropriate toothbrush with a small smear of toothpaste with fluoride. You can increase that volume to the size of a pea once your child is between three and six years old.
As children can take some time to learn how to brush their teeth properly on their own, oversee their brushing to help them do it properly. You can also assist them with flossing until they’re competently able to use floss or a handled flosser independently from around the age of 10.
We’ll cover some of the best teeth brushing techniques for young children below:
- Choose a brightly lit part of your home to begin brushing. Place a mirror in front of you so your child can see what you’re doing. Some parents may also find it easier to have their baby or toddler sit or lie on their lap while the brushing process occurs.
- Support your child’s chin with your free hand and ask them to open wide. Asking them to say ‘ah’ may help them do so. With their mouth wide open, you can look for any signs of decay, such as brown spots or white lines. Look for build-up around the gum line and plaque build-up on teeth.
- With your child-appropriate soft-bristled brush, brush each side of all teeth and the gums. Use a back and forward motion on chewing surfaces. Once you have finished brushing, encourage your child to spit out excess toothpaste into a sink or bowl.
- With floss or a handheld flosser, get into those hard-to-reach places, such as teeth that you can’t access on each side with a brush.
- Encourage a healthy diet and limit sugary foods and beverages. Avoid letting your child consume bottled formula or breastmilk in their bed, and remove the bottle from them once they’ve finished feeding.
Talk to Your Pediatric Dentist About Preventative Dentistry
Preventative dentistry is one of the best ways to make sure your teeth, and those of your children, are healthy and strong from childhood through to adulthood. Typically, pediatric dentists offer a wide range of preventative dentistry services, such as:
- Oral habits
- Dietary advice
- Dental development
Such services can begin as soon as your child has grown their first tooth and carry on throughout their entire life. Fortunately, you don’t have to manage your child’s oral health needs on your own.
As soon as you book an appointment with our pediatric dentist, you can receive a personalized program that outlines brushing and flossing advice, dietary information, and even fluoride recommendations. At any time, you can request further information to ensure your child’s oral health care needs are met.
Staying on top of oral hygiene may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you’re actively encouraging your children to brush and floss, you can set them up with excellent dental habits for life. Book an appointment with our pediatric dentist for help with your child’s oral health and to have your questions answered.