Why Does My Kid Need Children’s Toothpaste?

girl with smile - my kid need childrens toothpaste

Why Does My Kid Need Children’s Toothpaste?

Many parents wonder why kids need their own toothpaste. Is it only about the flavor? Wouldn’t it be easier to let your kids use the same toothpaste you do? Just like we shouldn’t give our children adult formulas or doses of pain medications, adult toothpaste can be harmful to children. Children’s toothpaste is specially formulated for little mouths, teeth, and bellies. Here’s why every kid needs their own toothpaste. 

What Are the Benefits of Children’s Toothpaste? 

There are three reasons why your child needs a kid’s toothpaste. Children’s toothpaste is safe to swallow, it’s free from abrasives and additives, and it comes in flavors kids like (so they’ll actually brush their teeth). Each of these qualities makes children’s toothpaste safer and more effective. 

It’s Safe to Swallow 

Children’s toothpaste is formulated to be safe for children to swallow. Children are still learning how to brush and that includes learning to spit out toothpaste properly. That is why their toothpaste is free from abrasives, additives, and large amounts of fluoride. 

It’s Free from Abrasives and Additives

Toothpastes for adults are often designed with special features such as whitening or stain removal. However, these toothpastes often feature abrasive ingredients and additives that can severely damage a child’s gums and tooth enamel. Using them may cause tooth sensitivity and increase the likelihood of cavities.

In fact, whitening toothpastes are not recommended for children under the age of 14. While there are less harsh alternatives, like baking soda or hydrogen peroxide, always consult a dentist before starting your child on a whitening routine. 

It Comes in Kid-Friendly Flavors 

Choosing a kid’s toothpaste can help your child build good brushing habits. Twice-daily brushing is the best way to keep cavities away, and picking a toothpaste with a flavor they like can help make brushing something to look forward to. Allowing your child to choose their own toothpaste is one positive way to involve them in their own oral care and get them excited about brushing. 

Is Fluoride Toothpaste Safe for Kids?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, and it’s important for building strong tooth enamel. However, too much fluoride can be dangerous for small children. While there is not enough fluoride in children’s toothpaste to do any harm when used appropriately, you still need to make sure your child is spitting their toothpaste out. Swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can be dangerous. If you choose not to use a kid’s toothpaste with fluoride because your child likes to eat it, ask your pediatric dentist about using sealants or fluoride treatments instead.   

When Can My Child Use Adult Toothpaste?

Adult toothpaste is formulated for adult mouths and bodies, which means there is more fluoride in it compared to its child counterpart, making it dangerous for children to use while brushing. Children 12 and older can start using adult toothpaste. However, there are several things you should ensure they can do before switching your child’s toothpaste: 

  • Brush without swallowing 
  • Spit properly
  • Brushes with proper technique


How Much Toothpaste Should My Child Use?

Children only need a small amount of toothpaste to brush properly. Using too much can result in toothpaste being swallowed. On the other hand, using too little will not clean their teeth well enough.

3 years old and younger: The right amount of toothpaste is about the size of a grain of rice.

3 to 6 years: Young children need a little more toothpaste, about the size of a small pea.

6 to 12 years: Older kids can use a slightly larger pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Pediatric Dental Care in Prescott, Arizona

Caring for your child’s oral health is an important part of caring for their overall health and wellbeing. Learning to care for their teeth from an early age will help your child build healthy routines that last them a lifetime. Besides using a kid’s toothpaste, twice-yearly exams and cleanings are also imperative. Here at Hicks Dental Group, we believe in teaching kids the importance of good brushing habits, but we also do our best to make their checkups fun. If your child is due for a dentist visit, contact us today to make an appointment.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/30/24). Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash.