“The sooner the better!” according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
But what if your child swallows toothpaste? How soon is soon?
Fluoride From The First Tooth
As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, it’s perfectly safe to start using a fluoride toothpaste. The important thing is that you’re in control of how much and how often your child is exposed to the fluoride. Use a child’s toothpaste that has a milder flavor to discourage them from swallowing it.
Fluoride is essential for developed teeth, both baby and adult ones. This mineral works by reinforcing the enamel and making it resistant to decay. The sooner your child’s teeth start getting exposure to fluoride, the better their teeth will fight off cavities.
Is It Safe For Babies To Have Fluoride?
Again, controlling the exposure is the key here. You as the parent should be brushing baby’s first teeth with a soft toothbrush and a smear of children’s fluoride toothpaste. This means just enough to get on the teeth, but not enough to do any damage if swallowed.
As your child reaches the toddler years, you can increase the amount of toothpaste to the size of a pea, but you still need to supervise their brushing. Make sure he or she is spitting out the toothpaste after they brush. If spitting toothpaste is an issue, have him or her practice for a while with a fluoride-free paste.
But once they master the concept of spitting, it should be right back to that I-mean-business fluoride!
Your pediatric dentist can provide more information on age-appropriate oral hygiene for your child.
Posted on behalf of:
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
“Call Poison Control if more than is used for brushing is swallowed.”
What should you know about toothpaste to keep your child’s smile and body healthy?
What’s the Risk?
Fluoride in high concentrations can adversely affect tooth enamel. Too much of it at once can cause stomach problems such as vomiting. Like other minerals, it does have the potential to be toxic if too much is ingested at once.
The small bodies of kids don’t need much fluoride to feel the effects. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to how much children are exposed to.
Adult toothpastes contain the proper amount of fluoride to keep teeth strong. But that amount could be too much for a little body and a mouth that has trouble spitting out the toothpaste.
Until your child has mastered the habit of spitting after brushing, give them fluoride-free “training toothpaste.” This way, there won’t be any risk of them getting sick from swallowing too much of it.
If Toothpaste is Swallowed
Don’t panic! First of all, try to determine how much was actually eaten. If it seems more than a pea-sized amount (that’s all that’s needed for brushing!) was swallowed, then call Poison Control. A calcium-rich snack is often recommended to bind the fluoride in the tummy. A one-time incident should not affect your child’s tooth development.
Toothpaste is relatively harmless, but it should be treated like any other medicine or vitamin. Keep it out of the kiddos’ reach and strictly monitor how much they use when brushing.
Schedule a visit to your local dental office for more advice. Fluoride is essential for tooth health, so introduce fluoride toothpaste as soon as your dentist feels your child is ready.
Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
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