What is the best kind of toothpaste for my child to use?

Next time you’re in the grocery store or Target, wander down the toothpaste aisle and take a look at all the options there are for toothpastes for children. Combine that with all the press you’ve heard about fluoride, good and bad, and it’s no wonder it’s difficult to identify which toothpaste is best for your children.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the organization that your children’s pediatric dentist belongs to, recommends that all children start using a fluoride toothpaste as soon as their first tooth erupts, usually around 6 months of age.

From the first tooth – 3 years of age, the recommendation is to use a grain of rice sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

From age 3 years – 6 years of age, the recommendation is to use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

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Many parents are concerned that their child will swallow this toothpaste and that the fluoride swallowed is bad for their children. Research shows that it is safe to brush with these recommended amounts of fluoride toothpaste 2X/day, even if your child is swallowing some or all of this toothpaste.

If you are interested in learning more about fluoride and the benefits it can provide for your child’s oral health, check out this AAPD Guideline on Fluoride Therapy: http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/G_fluoridetherapy.pdf

Dr. Amanda Amanda Kerns, DDS is a pediatric dentist at Drs. Atkins, Maestrello, Miller and Associates Pediatric Dentistry in Richmond, VA. She loves meeting new families at work and spending time with her husband and two boxers down at the James River.

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