When your child begins to get his first baby teeth, it's natural, as a parent, to start thinking about the best way to care for them so he can have healthy teeth and gums as he gets older. However, children have special needs that make caring for their teeth different from how you care for your own. The toothpaste you use to brush your youngster's teeth can make a big difference in his overall oral health. There are many types of toddler toothpaste on the market, but it may be hard to know which is the best for your child. Here are a few criteria that all parents should look for when selecting a toothpaste.
Fluoride is important for healthy teeth and primarily helps to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride toothpaste should be used once a child is able to spit the toothpaste out after brushing under parental guidance. Fluoride is often present in tap water, so your toddler may be receiving an adequate amount through drinking water alone. Ask your dentist if he or she thinks your child is ready for a fluoride toothpaste.
Fun flavors like strawberry and watermelon can help your child enjoy the experience of brushing his teeth. There are usually a few varieties to choose from, so try several to see which toddler toothpaste flavors your child likes. Remember, children can be choosy and will let you know if they don't like a certain flavor of toothpaste, so be prepared to buy a few different varieties until you find one your kid likes.
Only a Small Amount is Needed
You may be tempted to squeeze enough toothpaste to cover the whole brush, but children don't need very much toothpaste, because their teeth are so small. A small amount, about the size of a pea, is what is recommended by a dental professional.
Colgate's My First ColgateTM brand is a great toddler fluoride-free toothpaste for your child in his earliest stages of dental care, because it has all the healthy qualities mentioned above. It is safe for children age 2 and under, making it a smart choice for youngsters who are just beginning to care for their teeth.
While reading labels can provide a lot of information, it is always a good idea to consult with your dentist and see what toothpaste he recommends for your child. To encourage your child to brush his teeth with Mom and Dad, you may want to use a daily chart to monitor his progress and provide him with rewards for reaching certain milestones. This not only makes the process more fun for him, but it also helps you ensure he is staying on track with his dental care.