When Can My Child Start Using Regular Toothpaste?
By: Mohammad Taqvi, General Dentist Limiting Practice to Pediatric Dentistry
While brushing begins at age one or after the first tooth comes in, many parents are curious when they can switch their children from fluoride-free children’s toothpaste to regular/adult toothpaste. The type of toothpaste a child should use is mostly dependent on when a child is comfortable spitting all the toothpaste out and they are no longer swallowing toothpaste. For their safety, do not have your child switch to fluoride toothpaste until they are able to spit.
While there isn’t a specific age or a hard deadline to switch, many children are ready to switch toothpaste around age six. Talk with your pediatric dentist for suggestions related specifically to your child, as they may be able to advise a time to switch or provide helpful tips for ensuring your child begins positive oral health habits.
Proper Brushing for Kids
From age one, or when their first tooth erupts, brushing with no toothpaste is perfectly acceptable, and prevents baby bottle tooth decay. Kids should never go to sleep with a bottle, and parents should try to prevent pacifiers or bottles from becoming a prolonged habit.
From ages 2-5, a pea-sized amount of fluoride-free, kid-safe toothpaste is recommended. Your child will need help brushing and you should remind them to spit out the toothpaste. Guide your child on proper brushing techniques to prevent cavities at a young age. As mentioned previously, your child can switch to a fluoride toothpaste once they're able to spit after brushing.
Regardless of age, all children should be brushing two times a day and flossing one time per day. This prevents tooth decay and keeps gum tissue healthy. Be sure your child is seeing their dentist regularly at least every six months to monitor growth, development, and overall oral health.
If you have questions about your child’s oral health, call us or request an appointment. We’re happy to serve as a resource for you as you work to ensure your child maintains proper oral health habits!