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Best Toothpaste For Kids With Cavities

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Are your kids dealing with cavities? If so, you must be wondering what the best toothpaste is for them. That's a great question to ask. As you read on, we'll look at what toothpaste is and what it does, what to look for in kids' toothpaste, how your kids should use it, and how to ensure they maintain good oral health.

What is Toothpaste, and What Does it Do?

It may sound like a silly question since we use it every day. But we think it's a valid thing to consider. Toothpaste comes as a gel, paste, or powder. It's used along with a toothbrush to help remove food debris and plaque from your teeth and gums. Since the inception of toothpaste several thousand years ago, it has evolved considerably - from crushed eggshells to complex formulas with more than 20 ingredients. Different varieties can combat dental caries, gum disease, erosion, dentin hypersensitivity, and more.

What to Look for in Toothpaste for Kids?

When it comes to tooth decay, brushing with fluoride toothpaste is the way to go. Fluoride is a natural mineral that fortifies the hard outer layer of our teeth (known as the enamel), protecting our teeth from decay. Heads up: it's important to wait to use fluoride toothpaste until the age of 2, when your child can spit the toothpaste out. Excessive ingestion of fluoride can discolor and pit children's permanent teeth.

To help make things better for your kids, look for kid-friendly flavors. Fun flavors like strawberry and watermelon can help your child enjoy the experience of brushing their teeth. Also, note that only a small amount of toothpaste is needed. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children from 0-3 use toothpaste the size of a rice grain and that children 3+ use a pea-sized amount.

Toothpaste as a Weapon Against Cavities

Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is a proven way to protect and strengthen developing teeth. Teeth naturally go through a demineralization and remineralization process. On the one hand, germs in the mouth produce acids that dissolve our tooth enamel (aka demineralization). On the other hand, fluoride and other minerals in the saliva, like calcium and phosphate, repair the teeth (aka remineralize them). By getting rid of plaque and using a kids' toothpaste with fluoride, you can target the culprits of tooth decay (plaque and germs) while strengthening your child's teeth. To ensure your child is getting the most out of their toothpaste, make sure they brush for a full two minutes. A timer might help make this practice easier.

Other Elements for Better Oral Health

Beyond brushing with the best toothpaste for kids, there's plenty more you can do to help fight childhood cavities. Flossing sometimes referred to as interdental cleaning, is also essential for cavity protection. Until your child is old enough, usually around age 8, floss for them. This will help remove plaque from around the gumline and between their teeth, where it is hard for a toothbrush to reach. It's also important to supervise their brushing.

In addition, schedule appointments with a pediatric dentist every six months, starting at one year of age. Not only can your dentist give your child a professional cleaning and check for signs of tooth decay, but they can also offer fluoride treatment for extra cavity protection.

Now you know what to look for in toothpaste if your children have cavities. The key is fluoride! To help make oral care more enjoyable for your kids, remember that there are many fun flavor options out there. Always support and supervise your kids with their oral care and make sure they see their dentist regularly. If you do that, they'll be set for having healthy and happy teeth.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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