Preventing Your Child From Eating Toothpaste
Helping your child understand how to use toothpaste is an important step in developing good oral health habits. Here are some tips to help your child not eat toothpaste:
Monitor Their Toothpaste Use: The best way to prevent your child from eating toothpaste is to apply just the right amount to his toothbrush yourself. That way, if they do swallow toothpaste, you’ll be aware of how much they ingested. Further, you should keep the toothpaste container away from your child when they’re not brushing their teeth, such as a high cabinet or a locked medicine cabinet.
Make Sure They’re Spitting and Rinsing: You should also ensure that your child spits out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it each time they brush and that they thoroughly rinse with clean, freshwater afterward to remove the toothpaste residue. The amount of toothpaste used in brushing is safe to swallow, but this will reinforce the idea that toothpaste is not meant to be eaten.
Consider Your Toothpaste Flavor: Switching to a stronger, mint-flavored toothpaste rather than candy-flavored varieties might also discourage eating toothpaste. Though, stronger flavors are more suitable for older children, as younger children can be so put off by a strong mint taste that they refuse to brush or use the toothpaste at all.
Brush Your Teeth With Your Child: Another recommendation is to brush your teeth alongside your child. Encourage them to imitate you so that they can develop good habits, such as brushing for at least two minutes, holding the brush at the correct angle, brushing their tongue, and spitting out the toothpaste when they’re done.
Be Patient: Finally, be patient with your child. The desire to eat toothpaste is likely just a passing phase in your child’s life that they will outgrow. When they ask you if you can eat toothpaste, remind them that it’s not a snack. However, if your child consumes a large amount of toothpaste, call the emergency hotline listed on the toothpaste tube or immediately contact a poison control center.
Now that you know a few tips on how to stop children from eating toothpaste, it’s time to put them into practice to form good habits. Remember—your children are learning to form life habits every day, so a fun tube of flavorful, colorful toothpaste could be mistaken for a snack. As long as you monitor your child’s toothpaste use and brush with them, you will not only be monitoring whether or not they swallow toothpaste but also helping them develop safe and healthy oral health habits.