From the moment those tiny pearly whites begin to emerge, keeping them healthy becomes a priority—and so does teaching your tots the importance of oral hygiene. Whether you're brushing two tiny teeth or twenty, including a baby toothpaste in that regimen is important. Brushing regularly as soon as those baby teeth pop out is a good way to establish a proper oral care routine early on.
However, when your kids are still too young to understand how to spit things out, it's important to choose a baby toothpaste that is safe for your toddler to use. Just as you wouldn't give young children an adult toothpaste, toddlers need their own specific type, too. But how do you know what's safe and effective to use on your toddler's teeth?
Check the Ingredients
Take time to read the ingredients label and determine what's most important for you. For example, you may choose to use a fluoride-free toothpaste to minimize your baby's risk of fluorosis, which the American Dental Association describes as the appearance of faint lines on the teeth that develop if a baby ingests too much fluoride. You might also choose to avoid formulas that include artificial sweeteners, dyes, or flavors. Some parents might want to use baby toothpastes that don't contain propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate, which may potentially irritate oral tissues, especially if they come in contact with ulcers, reports a study in The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. You know your baby best; choose the toothpaste formula that you feel most comfortable and confident using.
A training toothpaste like Tom's of Maine's Fluoride-Free Toddler Training Toothpaste is safe if swallowed, and it's specially formulated for little ones between 3 and 24 months. In case your toddlers do swallow the toothpaste (which they most definitely will at some point), you can feel confident about their safety by choosing a formula that contains only natural ingredients. Plus, using a natural toddler toothpaste is one small step you can take to green your baby care routine.
Taste the Flavor
As you can tell by the look on your baby's face when you try to serve those strained peas, toddlers have a picky sense of taste. When you're introducing kids to toothpaste for the first time, flavor is an important factor. You don't want to choose anything that's too strong or overpowering, otherwise you'll be leaving your toddler with a literal bad taste in their mouth, tainting the new experience of brushing their teeth. Choose a baby toothpaste that has a sweet, mild flavor to help make the process enjoyable.
Have Some Fun
Toddlers can be very opinionated about what they want and how things should be done—which is why the toothpaste container can also be a deciding factor in making teeth brushing something they look forward to. Colorful characters are always appealing. They can also help kids that are too young to read identify that the toothpaste is their own.
Ease of use is also important when choosing a baby toothpaste. If your toddler is anything like mine, he wants to do everything himself, which includes opening the toothpaste tube and squeezing it out on the brush. Look for an easy-to-open tube that little fingers can manipulate on their own. Not only will you avoid tantrums, but you'll also be empowering your toddler to take control of his own oral health.
It's never too soon to establish a healthy oral care routine, but it's important to make it enjoyable and fun. Choosing the right baby toothpaste with safe, effective ingredients will help your toddler look forward to brushing every day.
What toothpaste do you use for your toddler? How did you teach them to love brushing? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!
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Why It's Good
Picking the right baby toothpaste isn't just about keeping those tiny teeth clean. Choosing the best one, made with ingredients you feel confident in, ensures that you are setting your toddler up for a lifetime of healthy oral care.