When Should I Start Using Fluoride Toothpaste for My Child?

Mother,And,Daughter,Brushing,Teeth,TogetherFluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in many of the foods and drinks we consume. It’s essential for remineralizing the tooth’s enamel, preventing tooth decay. Fluoride is an important part of helping children’s teeth stay healthy and lower their risk of cavities. You can help your children get this protection by using fluoride toothpaste. However, you may be wondering when to start using fluoride toothpaste for your baby. Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about fluoride toothpaste for children.

Why Fluoride Is Important

The teeth have an outer layer called enamel, which serves as protection from bacteria that can result in plaque formation and cavities. When you eat or drink (aside from water), sugars and starches in your foods can interact with the bacteria in plaque to form acids, which eat away at the enamel. If the enamel becomes damaged or erodes, it can lead to less protection from tooth decay. Fluoride protects teeth from cavities by strengthening tooth enamel. Cavities can be common in children because the enamel on their baby teeth is not as strong as adult teeth; that’s why it’s important to ensure your kids are getting plenty of fluoride, whether through their diet, toothpaste, or fluoride treatments at their dentist’s office.

What Fluoride Products Are Available?

There are a variety of fluoride products available, but they come in two main forms: mouthwash and toothpaste. These fluoride products for kids contain fluoride to help lower the risk of tooth decay. Using the recommended amount of toothpaste at least twice a day to clean your children’s teeth helps ensure that they’re getting as much protection as possible from cavities.

Is Fluoride Safe for Babies?

Fluoride is safe to use for babies. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using fluoride for babies and toddlers. However, it’s vital to ensure you use the proper amount of fluoride toothpaste for your child. We’ll discuss the proper amounts for babies and toddlers in more detail below.

When Can Babies Have Fluoride Toothpaste?

You can start using toothpaste with fluoride when your children begin to get their baby teeth. However, it’s important to only use the right amount based on their age. Otherwise, they could end up swallowing fluoridated toothpaste. For babies, use a tiny amount of toothpaste, such as the size of a grain of rice. When your children are at least three years old, you can start using pea-sized amounts of fluoridated toothpaste to brush their teeth. If you’re unsure about the amount, your dentist can show you how much you can safely use.

Fluoride vs. Non-Fluoride Toothpaste for Toddlers

There are fluoride-free toothpastes available. Often, people opt for this type of toothpaste out of concern about getting too much fluoride. Fluoride-free toothpaste can clean the teeth and disrupt the process of plaque buildup. However, it cannot provide the necessary minerals to fortify the teeth and replace the minerals lost throughout the day. This can leave your toddler vulnerable to tooth decay. Opting for fluoride toothpaste for your toddler can be vital for protecting their developing teeth. If you are concerned about your child’s fluoride intake, your dentist can provide you with information on the proper amount of toothpaste to use on your toddler’s teeth. Furthermore, it’s important to note that it’s difficult to reach toxic levels of fluoride.

How To Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Brush your children’s teeth thoroughly and gently with the right amount of fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride in this toothpaste will help strengthen their enamel and reduce their risk of tooth decay. You should help your children brush their teeth until they are old enough to hold the brush right and properly clean their teeth, which is usually when they are around six years old.

Other Ways To Get Fluoride

Fluoride Treatments

Aside from toothpaste, there are other ways for your child to get fluoride, such as through fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments are a professional in-office solution for fortifying the teeth against bacteria and decay. They can come as a rinse, gel, foam, or varnish and contain a high fluoride concentration. Their application only takes a few minutes and can protect the teeth for several months. We recommend children have them done about every six months. With these treatments and regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, your children should have a significantly lower chance of having cavities.

Water Fluoridation

Your child may also be getting fluoride in their water. Many states add fluoride to their water to ensure people meet their daily intake requirements. You can contact your water provider to learn more about the amount of fluoride in your water supply. You can also utilize this tool from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to check if your state adds fluoride to its water supply.

Fluoride Mouthwash

Although fluoride mouthwashes are available, children under the age of six should not use them. This is because they could swallow it and put themselves at risk of fluoride toxicity. Furthermore, mouthwash may be unnecessary if they are already receiving fluoride treatments and utilizing fluoride toothpaste.

Contact Park View Pediatric Dentistry for More Information

To learn more about fluoride toothpaste and your children’s dental care needs, make an appointment today with Park View Pediatric Dentistry in New York, NY. Our staff will make you and your child feel welcome and comfortable in our child-friendly office. Plus, we offer a range of pediatric dentistry services to keep your child’s teeth healthy while ensuring they feel comfortable and relaxed during treatment. Contact our team today at 212-879-6518 or submit a contact form online.

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