Choosing the best toothpaste for children can be overwhelming with so many choices available. Other than asking your pediatric dentist for toothpaste suggestions, toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance has been tested for its effectiveness and proper ingredients. When choosing a toothpaste for children one should consider avoiding harmful ingredients. Choose a mild abrasive, avoid choosing toothpastes which contain SLS (read below Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), use a small, pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste and encourage your child not to swallow the fluoridated toothpaste, and don’t force a flavor your child doesn’t like. Also, be sure to buy soft bristled toothbrush, encourage good eating habit and do regular pediatric dental visits.
Our mouths are home to thousands of species of bacteria. These bacteria colonize and form a film on our teeth, known as plaque. Plaque build up can lead to a multitude of oral health problems including tooth decay, halitosis (bad breath), and gingivitis (inflammation of your gums). By simply brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing oral disease.
Evolution of toothpaste
Early toothpastes consisted of components such as ground iris flowers, sand, pulverized oyster shells or even brick! In the 1800s tooth powders made of baking soda and salt replaced the harsh homemade concoctions of earlier years. Today we have everything from all natural and toothpastes for sensitive teeth, to whitening toothpastes and bubblegum flavored varieties for children.
What exactly is toothpaste?
Toothpaste is an oral hygiene product that contains gentle abrasives, antibacterial agents, and most importantly fluoride. The gentle abrasives found in toothpastes help remove surface stains by gently polishing them away with the aid of a toothbrush. Antibacterial agents, such as triclosan, aid in reducing the bacterial levels in the mouth, thus preventing halitosis. Fluoride aids in strengthening the enamel of teeth.
Why is fluoride so important?
Fluoride has been added to toothpaste since the late 1800s and has significantly reduced the rate of tooth decay over the years. Fluoride strengthens teeth by remineralizing the enamel found on the surface of teeth. Though most public water supplies are fluoridated, the water does not adequately provide protection against cavities therefore the need for fluoridated toothpaste still exists.
Some toothpastes with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate may cause the recurrence of canker sores
Many parents avoid choosing toothpastes which contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). This ingredient may cause the recurrence of aphthous ulcers, commonly referred to as canker sores. SLS is a surfactant that makes things foam and a major ingredient in most popular toothpastes sold in the grocery store. Crest, Colgate, AquaFresh, and Pepsodent contain SLS; Sensodyne is a major brand that doesn’t. Here is a list of some toothpastes that do not contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate):
- Natural Toothpaste Kids Fluoride
- Tom’s of Maine Natural Fluoride-Free Toothpaste for Children
- Silly Strawberry Squigle Enamel Saver Toothpaste
- REMBRANDT GENTLE WHITE Toothpaste (formerly Canker Sore)
- Biotene Dry Mouth Toothpaste Fresh Mint Original Flavor
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