Paediatric Guidelines for Children's Toothpaste Use

paediatric guidelines for children's toothpaste use - colgate sg

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.

In February 2014, the American Dental Association (ADA) revised its position on the use of fluoride toothpaste for children under two years of age. Use the following points to help you make a decision about when to start your child on a toothpaste that contains 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.

Using Age-Based Portions

Here in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) recommendation says that children under three years of age should brush using a "smear" of fluoride-containing toothpaste no larger than the size of a grain of rice, twice a day. After the age of three, a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is recommended, once in the morning and once at night. Previously, the recommendation was for children of two years of age and older to brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

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 that 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.

Toothbrush Size

Make sure your child has a right-sized toothbrush when they start brushing. There is a wide assortment of sizes and shapes for toothbrushes, so 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 paediatric dental choices comes down to having the right information. Armed with the recommendations from MOH, you can feel comfortable knowing you're giving your child the best of oral care.

About the author: Dr. Huot is the founder and CEO of Beachside Dental Consultants Inc. He has lectured at many meetings, and his past articles have been featured in Dental Products Report, Dental Economics, Dental Practice Report, ADA News and state dental journals. Dr. Huot retired in 2012 from the USAF Reserve Dental Corps after 30 years of military duty, and his last assignment was as the Commander of the 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron at Patrick AFB, Florida. A past president of the Maine Dental Association in 1994 and the 2006 president of the Atlantic Coast District Dental Association in Florida, Dr. Huot is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

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.

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Top Tips for Good Oral Care During Childhood

  • Brushing and flossing
    Begin using toothpaste to brush your child's teeth when he (or she) is 2 years old. Young children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing, rather than spitting it out. Introduce fluoride toothpaste when your child is old enough not to swallow it. As soon as two teeth touch each other, floss between them once a day. You can use regular floss or special plastic floss holders.

  • Dental visit
    New parents often ask, "When should my child first see a dentist?” Your child should see a dentist by his or her first birthday.

Brushing can be fun!

Brushing teeth with kids toothpastes and toothbrushes can be a fun activity. Check out our products to choose the one right for your child