While there is no hard set date for when your child can begin using adult toothpaste (or toothpaste that contains fluoride), there are some things to consider before moving them on to the next stage of dental health. It is important to remember that not all kids will be able to use fluoride toothpaste at the same age, so observing your child while they brush and learn these skills is vital to knowing whether or not they are ready.
Two Toothpaste Options
You may be wondering why there are different toothpaste options for kids and adults. When kids begin brushing their teeth, which typically begins as soon as their first baby teeth pop through, they are not accustomed to spitting things back out. Many times, your baby will swallow most of the toothpaste and water, because they have learned to drink in the recent months and spitting it back out is not natural to them yet. While swallowing toothpaste isn't usually harmful, even baby toothpaste can cause tummy aches, so make sure to watch your baby or child to ensure they are not swallowing too much.
This becomes especially important when it comes to adult toothpaste, or toothpaste with fluoride. Because of the mineral composition of fluoride and the other ingredients used in adult toothpaste (for killing bacteria, whitening, or extra plaque control), swallowing this kind of toothpaste can be harmful for your baby or child, which is why dentists don't recommend using fluoride toothpaste until a child is ready.
Signs They Are Ready
Again, there is no required age that a child must switch from a baby or child toothpaste to an adult or fluoride toothpaste. Here are some ways to know whether or not it is time to make the switch:
- Your child is able to spit out the toothpaste and gargle without swallowing.
- Your child's dentist has recommended a fluoride toothpaste due too cavities or tooth decay to protect their enamel.
- Your child is over the age of 2.
The Best Dental Health for Your Child
We all want what is best for your children, and that includes for their teeth! At Timber Kids Dentistry, we love helping parents understand the best habits to help their kids develop healthy dental habits. Regardless of when your child switches to a fluoride toothpaste, it is essential to help them brush twice every day from the time they get their first baby teeth. In addition, you can help them floss daily. It is also helpful to encourage a healthy diet full of essential vitamins to help their teeth stay strong. If you have any concerns about your child's teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment so we can help! We look forward to meeting you.