When Can My Child Start Using Regular Toothpaste?


Posted on 6/15/2024 by Brian Rounds, DDS
Little girl putting toothpaste on her toothbrush after her parents made an appointment at Brian K. Rounds, DDS in Lacey, WABetween navigating the plethora of dental products and learning to teach your child how to take care of their teeth, parenting in this area can be filled with questions. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about toothpaste for your child:

Understanding the Difference


Toothpaste prepared for children contains less fluoride and has some nice flavors that kids might like. Regular toothpaste contains more fluoride and provides more robust protection against cavities, but then there is the possibility that swallowing in large amounts can be dangerous.

Starting With Fluoride Toothpaste


The American Dental Association (ADA) advises using a rice-grain size of fluoride toothpaste when your baby gets his first tooth. This is an amount considered safe for such young children, yet it allows fighting the problem of tooth decay. Around three years old, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Transitioning to Regular Toothpaste


Most children are ready to use regular toothpaste by the age of 6; this way, they can spit out the toothpaste afterward more easily. Look for signs that your child understands that he/she should not be swallowing toothpaste and can rinse out their mouth adequately. Remember, every child is different, so use your judgment and do not rush this transition.

Supervision and Dental Check-ups


Even after, ensure you supervise your children so they use toothpaste that is not more than a pea size and brush effectively. However, it is still necessary to make regular dental check-ups. Let the dentist check your child, and you will obtain individual recommendations about toothpaste and all other aspects of oral care.

Making the Decision


A child can use regular toothpaste as long as they can spit out the toothpaste, understand the importance of not swallowing the toothpaste, and have good oral health. You know your child better than anyone else, so trust your instincts.

Need More Guidance?


Feel free to contact us if you have any doubts or questions regarding the dental health journey of your child, including changes from one toothpaste to another. Our team is always here to assist and guide you every step developmental step of the way. Schedule your appointment today - let us ensure that the smile of your little one stays bright and healthy!


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