a girl kissing her mother on the cheek, and the mother is smiling brightly
Badge field

Paediatric Guidelines for Kids' Toothpaste Use

Published date field Last Updated:

Paediatric dental care is an important part of your child's development. But with all the online sources parents have at their disposal, it's important they find information that is as accurate as it is convenient. According to the Indian Dental Association, it is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. These are the time frames during which the primary and permanent teeth form and erupt. These updated recommendations mean that much of the information online is now out of date. Use the following points to help you make a decision about when to start your child on a toothpaste that includes fluoride.

What Does Fluoride Do?

Children are subject to tooth decay the moment their teeth come in, so you should be consistent about brushing their teeth. Fluoride is an additive in many toothpastes that are perfect for strengthening the enamel that baby teeth depend on to properly develop. Not all tap or bottled water may contain fluoride, though, so it is important that you use toothpaste that has this substance.

Using Age-Based Portions

According to the Indian Dental Association, parents should supervise their children's tooth brushing and use only a smear or pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste until they are about 7 years old. The Indian Dental Association further advises that parents should supervise their children's tooth brushing and use only a smear or pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste until they are about 7 years old. Fluoride supplements should be taken on the advice of a dentist. Supplements are suitable for children from about 3 years onwards and can help reduce decay.

Supervision and the Seal of Acceptance

As a parent, supervising and guiding your child while they're brushing shouldn't be necessary past a certain age, but it is not unusual for children to have supervised brushing up to the age of 12. This will ensure they remain personally responsible throughout their childhood and as they grow up. Whether or not you're monitoring your children's brushing habits, make sure they're using products that are right for them. Look for the IDA Seal of Approval when you are recommended a new toothpaste as the seal assures that the toothpaste meets the standards set by the Indian Dental Association.

Toothbrush Size

Be sure your child has the right size toothbrush when they start brushing. Use an assortment of sizes and shapes for toothbrushes, so that brushing teeth can be a fun and effective path to great oral health. Oral rinses can be useful for all age groups as well; check with your dentist or dental hygienist to make the right choice, and ensure your child enjoys a cavity-free childhood. Making the right pediatric dental choices comes down to having the right information. Armed with the IDA's new recommendations, you can feel comfortable knowing you're giving your child the best oral care.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.