Take Care of Children’s Teeth by using a Fluoridated Toothpaste
Baby teeth are important. They are needed for chewing food, talking, and for holding the space for future erupting adult teeth to properly grow in place in the mouth.
As parents, we want to ensure that our children have good oral health to help set them on the right path for a healthy smile throughout their lives.
One very important way of taking care of young children’s teeth is to brush them for 2 minutes 2 times per day with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Begin doing this as soon as the first tooth comes in.
Fluoride is important for keeping teeth strong and preventing tooth decay. There are many things that can increase your child’s risk of tooth decay:
- If they live in an area with non-fluoridated water
- If they have many sugary snacks/drinks between meals
- If their teeth are not brushed daily
- If their caregiver has tooth decay
- If they have visible plaque or white chalky areas or cavities on their teeth
If your child has any of these risk factors, it is important to ensure they are brushing with fluoridated toothpaste.
You do not have to spend a lot of money on fancy children’s toothpaste. There are many different toothpastes on the market that are affordable and contain fluoride. Choose a fluoridated toothpaste that has the Canadian Dental Association’s seal of recognition. Be aware of fluoride-free training toothpastes. Not only are they expensive but, because they don’t contain fluoride, they will not strengthen and protect teeth.
Choose a fluoridated toothpaste that has a flavour your child enjoys. You can use the same fluoridated toothpaste for all family members if they like the taste. Healthy Smile Happy Child has a great resource that shows you what to look for.
Use a grain of rice amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children who are under 3 years of age and a pea-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children ages 3 to 6.