Toothpaste for Children

According to a survey that was carried out by the World health Organisation (WHO) in 2012, findings revealed that gingivitis and caries effect 60-90% of children globally. There are several factors that contribute to these oral diseases. Among them are poor oral hygiene, high intake of sweetened food such as sweets, chocolates and cakes as well as insufficient use of fluoride. Therefore, children should be taught the proper oral care including the right brushing techniques and using the right toothpaste at a young age.

When my kids first  started cutting their first tooth, I cleaned their teeth and gums with the First Teeth Baby toothpaste (which I heard it has been discontinued but I cannot confirm). Once they had more teeth, I started brushing their teeth with a baby toothbrush and toothpaste made for babies which contains fluoride to prevent tooth decay. You’d need to check the fluoride levels in the toothpaste to ensure that you are buying the right toothpaste for your child.

According to an article in Babycentre,

– under-threes should use a lower fluoride toothpaste, though it should contain at least 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of fluoride.

– Your child won’t be able to share your ordinary family toothpaste containing between 1,350 ppm and 1,500 ppm of fluoride until he’s about three.

What happens if your child uses a toothpaste with too much fluoride?

According to the Dental Health Foundation at Ireland,

“Because young infant and children under the age of 2 years can swallow most , if not all of the toothpaste when brushing and there has been concerns that the use of fluoride toothpaste containing 1,000-1,500ppm F could give rise to enamel fluorosis of the front permanent incisors.  Enamel fluorosis is a condition which can vary from minor white spots to unsightly yellow/ brown discolouration of the enamel due to excessive intake of fluoride. In response to the concern over enamel fluorosis, some manufacturers now market low fluoride “children’s” or “paediatric” toothpastes containing less than 600 ppm fluoride. The effectiveness of these low fluoride ‘children’s’ or ‘padeiatric’ toothpstes in preventing caries has not been established. What has been shown by a number of systematic reviews is that toothpastes with a low fluoride concentration of 250ppm F are less effective than toothpastes with the standard 1,000-1,500 ppm F at preventing caries in permanent teeth.”

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Darlie has recently upgraded the formula of its Bunny Kids children’s toothpaste range.

It contains 600 ppm of fluoride – suitable for children. Over 80% contents are certified food grade as well. For children below 6 years old, only a pea sized amount should be used for supervised brushing to minimize swallowing.

Now that Ashley and Aidan are 9yo and 7yo respectively, they’ve accustomed to using our regular adult toothpaste which contains 1,000-1,500 ppm of fluoride. For younger kids e.g. 3 years and below, I would personally try this on Amelie because

1. it contains 600 ppm F which is suitable for 3yo and below

2. It has no added sugar so kids

3. It contains calcium to help strengthen teeth

4. it has low level of foam for gentle cleaning without irritation

However, this is my personal opinion. When in doubt, do your own research and consult your paed or dentist.

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