It seems like there are a whole bunch of health products made specifically for children – sunscreen, medicine, toothpaste… But is there really a difference in what is marketed to children vs. what adults use.
Is Children’s Toothpaste Different from Adult Toothpaste?
Honestly, it depends on the product! Our team is not experts when it comes to sunscreen, medications, or any of the other many, many products you purchase specifically for your kids. One thing we do know is toothpaste! Keep reading to find out the differences between your and your child’s toothpaste.
The most notable difference between adult and kid toothpaste is the fluoride content. Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in many foods and is often times added to the public water supply. Fluoride helps to protect teeth against the acid that is formed when bacteria found in the mouth combine with sugar from the foods we eat. Children’s toothpaste generally has less fluoride than adult toothpaste to help prevent them from getting too much. While fluoride is safe to use, it’s best to limit the amount that children use. Kids that are exposed to too much fluoride can develop what is known as fluorosis. It is completely harmless but can cause white streaks or spots on a child’s teeth that have an undesirable appearance.
Another major difference between children’s and adult toothpaste is the flavor. Most adult toothpaste comes in minty flavors. Kiddos have more options when it comes to flavors! Fruity and bubblegum flavors are very popular choices. If you have difficulty getting your child motivated to brush regularly, consider letting them pick a new toothpaste flavor.
It’s not very often that you see your favorite TV star on your tube of adult toothpaste! Children’s toothpaste (and toothbrushes) are often adorned with popular cartoon and movie characters to help them be more attracted to the idea of brushing regularly. Letting your child pick out their own toothpaste, or choosing one with their favorite Paw Patrol pup is a great way to get your child involved in their daily brushing routine.
How Much Toothpaste?
The recommended amount of toothpaste for children under the age of three is just a smear. Once they have reached their third birthday, a pea-sized amount is perfect.
When to Switch?
There is not a set age when it comes to switching from children’s to adult toothpaste. The most important thing is that your child is able to spit out the toothpaste effectively. The reduced amount of fluoride in children’s toothpaste also helps to reduce the chances of an upset tummy if some are swallowed. It’s also important that your child have most of their permanent teeth before making the switch. Be sure to talk to us when you are thinking about moving up to adult toothpaste. Dr. Aaron Forrester can help you know if your child is ready!