Can I Use Regular Toothpaste For My Child?

Like adults, children need proper oral hygiene in order to maintain a healthy mouth and avoid cavities and tooth decay, but many parents may feel confused or conflicted when it comes to choosing the right toothpaste for their child and knowing when to switch from children’s toothpaste to adult toothpaste.

Baby’s First Teeth

When your baby’s teeth start to emerge, the only thing needed to clean your child’s teeth is a soft-bristled brush and water. This will remove the plaque on your child’s first teeth and help prevent tooth decay. Our dentist recommends cleaning your child’s teeth once a day right before bed. Once your child’s teeth start to emerge, you can schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist at Sunshine Smiles for an exam and teeth cleaning demonstration.

Cleaning Your Toddler’s Teeth

A pediatric dental appointment should be scheduled around the time of your child’s first birthday to ensure your child’s teeth, gums and jaw are developing properly. At this stage, you can still clean your child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled brush. Once your child is able to spit to remove excess toothpaste, you can use children’s toothpaste, which is formulated for developing teeth and not harmful if swallowed in small amounts. Our dentist can demonstrate the correct amount of toothpaste to use and the proper brushing technique for this stage in your child’s tooth development.

Switching to Adult Toothpaste

Adult toothpaste should not be swallowed. For that reason, our pediatric dentist only recommends switching to adult toothpaste when your child is well-versed on how to spit to remove excess toothpaste and rinse their mouths. They should also have most of their adult teeth. Adult toothpastes are formulated to keep adult teeth clean and typically contain higher amounts of fluoride than children’s toothpastes. If you need help determining the right time to switch your child from children’s toothpaste to adult toothpaste, Dr. Kristin and Dr. Alvarez can help you.

To schedule an appointment for your child with our pediatric dentist in Melbourne, call us at 321-622-6255.