Dental Tips Blog


What to Do When Your Child Eats Toothpaste

Fluoride is extremely safe to use and can help your child stay cavity free, but swallowing large amounts of it (or anything for that matter) is another story.

There’s a lot of scary information on the internet about the harmful and potentially deadly effects of fluoride. It’s no wonder you feel your stomach sink when you one day find your child snacking away at a tube of toothpaste.

What should you do?

When You Catch Your Child Eating Toothpaste

As in any surprise situation, try not to panic. The first step is to determine how much your child actually ate.

Was it just the small amount on brush? That’s usually safe. Toothpaste doesn’t have enough fluoride for such a small amount to cause problems. Kids generally should have only a pea-sized amount on brush. Work with your child to practice spitting after brushing to make sure that he or she doesn’t pick up a habit of regularly swallowing toothpaste.

If it appears that a significant amount was swallowed, then it’s a good idea to give your child something dairy to eat. Calcium in milk binds to fluoride in the stomach and can help prevent gastrointestinal problems (like nausea.)

A small one-time snack of toothpaste shouldn’t cause any serious problems beyond a bit of tummy ache. But to be on the safe side, you can call the Poison Control Center for more direction.

How to Prevent Fluoride Emergencies

Keep those sweet, fruity, fluoride-rich kids’ toothpastes out of reach! Until your child is old enough to take care of their own oral hygiene, monitor how much product they are using.

Contact your child’s dentist for specific recommendations on the safe use of fluoride for healthy tooth development.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

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