If you read our last post, you’ve got the right toothbrush for your child. Now, which toothpaste should your child use?
The right toothpaste is essential to improving your oral hygiene routine. Toothpastes can come in pastes or gels, and contain agents to whiten teeth, help reduce tooth decay, gingivitis, bad breath, and sensitivity.
So which one is right for you and your children?
ADA Seal of Approval
The most important characteristic of your toothpaste is that it is approved by the American Dental Association. A toothpaste with the ADA seal assures you that the product has been evaluated for its safety and effectiveness.
Here is a complete list of toothpastes that have the ADA seal of approval: PDF download
The next important characteristic is to determine if your child is old enough to have toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel. If your child is not able to spit out the toothpaste, it is recommended that they use toothpaste without fluoride. Once your child is able to spit out their toothpaste, it would be beneficial to begin using fluoridated toothpaste.
Certain toothpastes can also help to alleviate tooth sensitivity, decrease gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), decrease tartar (hardened plaque), relieve bad breath, or whiten teeth.
Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
There are several toothpastes available for people with sensitive teeth. Desensitizing toothpaste contains compounds which help decrease sensitivity to cold/hot or help block sensitive areas of your tooth where the root is exposed. Desensitizing toothpastes, such as Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity, usually require several applications before the sensitivity is reduced. If the desensitizing toothpaste doesn’t ease your discomfort, contact your dentist so the cause can be determined and a treatment plan can be developed to eliminate the problem.
Whitening toothpastes contain polishing abrasives which improve tooth appearance by removing surface stains only. They do this through gentle polishing, which is quite different than professional whitening techniques your dentist may have recommended to you which use bleaching materials such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. If you and/or your child are considering tooth whitening, consult with your dentist to determine the most safe and effective treatment options. It’s important to keep in mind that adult teeth tend to be a few shades darker than baby teeth – so this can be alarming for many parents as their child transitions from baby to adult teeth.
Gum Disease and Tartar Build-up
Certain toothpastes have agents which help to decrease the amount of inflammation in the gum tissues or decrease the amount of tartar (hardened plaque) build-up on your teeth. Your dentist may recommend that you use a toothpaste with one or both of these properties.
A Friendly Reminder: Use the Right Amount!
We don’t need to load up the toothpaste like you load your sugar cone with frozen yogurt. Only a smear or pea sized amount is needed to provide the necessary benefits!