Did you know that every year, about 14 million gallons of toothpaste are purchased in the United States alone? As your child grows, you will be investing in a lot of toothpaste, so it is important to know you are choosing the right kind for your child's needs. While it may seem like a minor detail, using the right toothpaste the correct way is a very important part of building healthy dental habits.
Starting Toothpaste at the Proper Time
As soon as your baby's teeth begin surfacing, it is time to initiate brushing. During infancy, cleaning the teeth and gums with a soft washcloth or baby toothbrush is a good place to start. Introduce fluoride-free toothpaste as soon as possible and choose a brand that is safe to swallow. Once children are ready for brushing, they are ready for toothpaste.
Understanding Fluoride Recommendations
Fluoride plays an important role in dental health. This natural mineral provides many advantages:
• Helps prevent cavities
• Reverses tooth decay in its early stages
• Controls bacterial growth
• Strengthens and protects tooth enamel
Because it is so beneficial for teeth and gums, fluoride is added to most public water supplies. However, it is still important to use fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay, especially in young children. Once your child is able to brush without swallowing, usually around age three, switch to fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride treatments at each six-month checkup may also be recommended for extra protection.
Using the Right Amount of Toothpaste
During the infant and early toddler years, you only need to apply a tiny amount of toothpaste to your child's toothbrush. The size of a single grain of rice is just enough for tiny bodies. For ages three and up, aim for a pea-sized amount. This helps prevent unnecessary swallowing while limiting waste. When it comes to toothpaste, a little goes a long way. Help your child prioritize oral health by teaching proper brushing habits with appropriate toothpaste. Contact Pediatric Dental Group today for more information on how we can help keep your child's smile healthy and strong.