Babies only need a very small smear of toothpaste no more than the size of a grain of rice. Read on to learn more about the safest ways to use fluoride toothpaste and alternatives to fluoride.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in water, soil, and air. In addition, fluoride toothpaste can help prevent cavities, strengthen weakened tooth enamel, reverse early tooth decay, and limit the growth of oral bacteria.
So, Is Fluoride Toothpaste Safe For Babies And Toddlers?
Children develop the ability to spit at around the age of 3. This means you can increase the level of fluoride toothpaste you put on their toothbrush. Dentists at Brookshire Dental recommend using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children ages 3 to 6.
At this age, brushing should also always be a team effort. Never let your child apply toothpaste themselves or brush without supervision.
However, if your child occasionally swallows more than a pea-sized amount, they will have an upset stomach. If this occurs, give them milk or other dairy because calcium binds to fluoride in the stomach.
Lastly, if your child regularly swallows a considerable amount of toothpaste, then the excessive fluoride can damage tooth enamel and cause dental fluorosis, which causes white stains on the teeth. Their risk of damage depends on the amount of fluoride they ingest and how long they continue doing so.
Are There Any Alternatives To Fluoride Toothpaste?
If your concern is about fluoride side effects, then use fluoride-free toothpaste.
Fluoride-free toothpaste will help to clean teeth, but it doesn’t protect teeth against decay the same way a fluoride toothpaste will.
However, If you have decided to go fluoride-free toothpaste, then be particular that your child brush regularly and follow up with regular dental cleanings. This will certainly avoid cavities and signs of early decay of the tooth.
Fluoride toothpaste is generally safe and recommended for children. However, it’s always important to use it in the correct manner, especially for babies who have milk teeth and young children.
If you’re still worrying about the safety of fluoride, then there are alternatives for fluorides. But pair it with a consistent brushing schedule and regular dental visits to stay on top of cavities and decay.
For more information, visit and contact us at Brookshire Smile Dental.