As parents, we want to keep our children healthy and safe. We monitor the TV shows they watch, avoid unhealthy snake foods, and make sure our kids get plenty of fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget to pay attention to some everyday choices as we assume they are safe. However, we must be diligent in all areas. Buying toothpaste is one of them. Here are some things to consider when buying children’s toothpaste.
Consider the Contents of the Toothpaste
The goal for your children is to get their teeth as clean as possible. To do so, you need to be aware of the contents of the toothpaste you choose. There is some debate over the safely of fluorides in toothpaste. We are not going to enter that debate here; however, check with your dentist if you have concerns. Whatever the contents of the toothpaste, make sure you avoid chemical additives for your children until you are sure they have learned not to swallow their toothpaste.
For tweens and teens, make sure you choose a brand that addresses concerns. For example, does your child need a teeth whitener or something to help control bad breath? Has your dentist indicated enamel strengthening would be advisable? You can purchase toothpaste to address a single concern or multiple issues. Additionally, consider the following:
Consider the Age of Your Children
A child’s dental needs are somewhat dependent on their age. You should begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they have enough teeth for them to be close together. At this time, food can get between the teeth and needs to be removed. You will need to brush and floss your child’s teeth until they are about six years of age, or until they are able to do so themselves. They will, most likely, indicate a desire to do so well before then; however, you need to remain involved to make sure brushing is adequate.
Older children need toothpaste that addresses their particular needs. Additionally, they will be more likely to indicate their preferences for a certain taste or texture. Just make sure whatever toothpaste they prefer meets their dental hygiene requirements.
Consider Tooth Brushing Habits
Initially, children need to be encouraged to maintain good dental hygiene. Again, toothpaste they enjoy using may help in this area. Begin when they are young developing good teeth brushing habits. Teeth should be brushed in the morning, preferably after breakfast and again before your child goes to bed at night. Additional brushings – every time your child eats or drinks anything sweet – is advisable, although sometimes not possible.
To make sure your child brushes regularly, try using a chart or other type of record. Stars work well for young children, with a possible reward at the end of a week or month for a perfect record. Encourage older children by explaining the consequences of poor dental hygiene habits. Again, choosing an appropriate and desirable tooth paste can help.
Very young children can be picky about the taste of their toothpaste. You may have to try several different types of toothpaste to find one your child prefers. Although you could just use any toothpaste, regardless of the taste, you will find teeth brushing easier if they enjoy the experience.
Older children may indicate a preference. Additionally, you will find teens have some very specific ideas about what they require in toothpaste. Just make sure their preferred brand addresses their dental needs.
Although buying toothpaste may seem like something easy to do, you should make sure your choice provides safe and effective dental care for your child. You may need to buy special toothpaste for your children and a separate one for the older members of your household. Buying the right toothpaste often involves some trial-and-error. If you keep searching, you will find toothpaste that is right for each member of your family.