If you’re a parent of young children, you know that the shopping choices you make at the grocery store go a long way towards motivating them to do the things they should do, like eat a balanced diet and keep their teeth and gums clean. Just like some kids will eat green peppers (but not broccoli), they also prefer one type of toothpaste over another. But how can you choose the best children’s toothpaste? It can be a bit challenging, because not only do they have to like it – it also must keep their teeth healthy so they get great checkups at a children’s dentist in Clarksville. In this blog, you’ll get 6 tips for helping you pick one that does it all!
Pick the Flavor Your Child Likes Best
Bubble-gum, strawberry and watermelon are just a few of the flavor choices available these days. While flavor might not seem like a very important factor, it’s probably at the top of the list from your child’s perspective.
Anything that makes your child want to brush, no matter how minor it may seem, is a good thing!
Pick a Gentle Formula
Avoid whitening formulas because they tend to be more abrasive than other types of toothpaste. They contain ingredients that remove surface stains, but can also remove enamel over time, making them too harsh for children’s teeth.
Always Look For the ADA Seal of Approval
Any toothpaste with this seal has undergone rigorous testing to make sure that it’s not only safe but effective as well.
Choose a Fluoridated Paste
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens enamel and counteracts the acids in the mouth that cause cavities. The overall rate of cavities in the U.S. dramatically decreased when fluoride was put in toothpaste, as well as the water supply of many cities.
One important thing to note is that while fluoridated toothpaste is crucial for cavity prevention, it’s also important to use the right amount of paste for your child’s age so you don’t overdo the fluoride.
For children under 3, use just a light smear of paste. For ages 3-6, a pea-sized amount will do.
Establish a Good Routine From the Start
In addition to choosing the right toothpaste, it’s helpful to establish good habits right from the very beginning. For example, during the teething process, it’s helpful to use either a clean, damp cloth or a teething toothbrush to gently clean the gums twice a day.
Children of all ages respond well to routine, so the earlier hygiene is established, the better.
Ask a Children’s Dentist
As always, don’t hesitate to ask a children’s dentist for ideas. In addition to helping you choose a great toothpaste, they’ll have other insights and advice for every aspect of your child’s hygiene.
After all, regular checkups and good hygiene at home is the best way to make sure they have healthy teeth and gums in childhood – and for life!
About the Author
Dr. Lauren Nichols is a general and children’s dentist in Clarksville who knows that using the right oral care products is crucial for preventing childhood cavities. That’s why she’s always happy to talk with parents about how to make the best choices their family. If you have any questions, she can be reached via her website or at (479) 754-3357.