Child toothpaste - what do you need to know to make the right choice?
Washing your child's teeth is one of the most important tasks when it comes to good oral health. The problem is that often the child toothpaste can even damage the teeth of the little ones if it contains hard abrasives. Today we will give you some tips regarding children's oral health and the choice of toothpaste for their teeth.
We parents do not have to wait for the child's teeth to grow to start taking care of their oral health. Medical specialists recommend that you start taking care of your children's oral health before you grow your teeth by wiping your baby's gums with a damp washcloth or soft gum after each meal.
When the baby's teeth start to grow, you can start brushing them with a fluoride-free child toothpaste. Since babies and children can not control the reflex of swallowing at this age, it is always better to use a formula without fluoride. Fluoride consumed in large quantities, can have toxic effects on the body of the child.
The choice of child toothpaste is very important
Of course, swallowing the amount you use on the toothbrush (a drop of the size of a weight for children between 2 and 6 years old) is not likely to cause a severe reaction. But consuming a little too much fluoride every day for a long period of time can cause problems.
If the child ingests too much fluoride for a long period of time while his permanent teeth are forming below the gums, there is a great risk that the child will develop dental fluorosis which is a discolouration permanent tooth enamel.
Dental fluorosis may be mild with white spots that are not visible on permanent teeth, or more severe in the form of dark brown spots and even stings on teeth in which small enamel stains are missing. Fluorosis is only a problem for children under 8 years of age because once permanent dies have completed their development and pierced the gums, they can no longer develop fluorosis.
It is important to consult with the dentist about the oral health of your children
Even if you use a fluoride-free child toothpaste for your child, the fluoride that is contained in the water you drink or the extra fluoride given by the dentist may be the amount of fluoride your child needs to have healthy teeth.
The best thing to do is start washing your child's teeth with a training toothpaste. The training toothpaste cleans the child's teeth and gums, but without the dangerous ingredients found in ordinary toothpastes. This makes the toothpaste safe if your child swallows it and also teaches the little one to practice mouth hygiene.
Many brands offer fluoride-free child toothpastes and you can very well make a transition to a fluoride child toothpaste when the child is tall enough. Children can start using a fluoride-containing toothpaste at the age of 3 if the dentist says they are ready. Even if the fluoride-free child toothpaste is safe for the child, you must continue to help him when he brushes his teeth because it is possible that the child does not yet have the motor skills to properly wash his teeth. teeth.
Teach your children how to brush their teeth with or without children's toothpaste
How to choose a child toothpaste for a baby under 2 years old? In reality, using a toothpaste below 2 years of age can sometimes be too difficult and it is not certain that it will really help the child's teeth. On the contrary, what is important is brushing your teeth, even without toothpaste.
Toothpaste is not really essential for protecting the teeth or improving the oral health of the child, but what is important is brushing and flossing regularly. In fact it's just the polishing agent - the physical movement of the toothbrush disrupts biofilm formation and prevents plaque. And that's why brushing your teeth can make a big difference in preventing cavities. And yet, baby toothpaste can still be of great importance to the child's oral saber.
Why do babies need a special toothpaste? Babies and children should not use the same toothpaste as grown-ups. Children do not develop the ability to spit before the age of 3, which means they swallow all the chemicals in the toothpaste.
It is necessary to begin the brushing from the first teeth
Many brands of adult toothpaste and unfortunately some brands for children including brands that sell 'natural' toothpastes actually contain ingredients that are harmful to oral health. This is the reason why you should not buy the first toothpaste you see. It is probably very difficult to know if what you use to wash your child's teeth is really safe.
So, is child toothpaste safe for babies? Yes, he can be. Of course, there are some ingredients to avoid when choosing the toothpaste for your child, but there are plenty of natural and safe options that can be used. The best child toothpaste does not contain fluoride, SLS or essential oils.
Ingredients to avoid in child toothpaste :
- fluoride. No matter what toothpaste you decide to buy for your child, make sure it does not contain any fluoride. Fluoride can be dangerous for children. It is often thought that fluoride toothpaste is a necessity for caries prevention. But there are still other means of prevention that do not carry the dangers of neurotoxin and fluorosis. When the fluoride is swallowed, it is toxic. And even if your baby or child is exposed to very small doses of fluoride, there is evidence that it may be toxic to the development of the human brain. Even fluoride in water after 'Harvard School of Public Health' can cause a lower IQ of 7 points. This is based on two scientific research carried out in 2012 and 2017.
If you and your child's dentist decide to give your child fluoride, it is important to know what sources of fluoride your child has and how much they are consuming. Fluoride is not only present in tap water, but also in bottled water, fish and seafood, cereals, baby milk and even teflon pans.
- SLS: A very common ingredient in toothpaste, sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS is sometimes even indicated as sodium laureth sulfate. It is so detergent that it has been shown in several scientific studies that it can cause canker outbreaks. There is really no reason to expose the baby's delicate oral environment to detergents like SLS.
- Essential oils. Essential oils are often found in 'natural' products as antibacterial agents. Where is the problem? Most essential oils are antibacterial, while babies actually need to build their own microbiome to prevent cavities and not kill it. In case you decide to make toothpaste yourself for your child, then avoid essential oils. You can replace them with oils that are not bactericidal like anise for example.
When should we start brushing the baby's teeth?
Whenever you or your child drinks or eats, the bacteria in the mouth do so too. Bacteria feast on the sugars contained in the food we consume. Just like men, whenever bacteria 'eat', they go to 'toilets'. Acids excreted by bacteria after consuming sugars are their waste products. This is often the reason behind bad breath, cavities and destruction of enamel.
If you do not remove the plaque in the first 48 hours, it begins to harden and calcify. This hardened plaque is called tartar and is impossible to remove with a toothbrush and toothpaste. The good news is that you do not need toothpaste to disrupt bacteria and plaque. Regardless of whether it is an adult or a child, with a simple toothbrush and good technique, oral health can be preserved.
How to brush the teeth of babies and children ?
When babies' first teeth start to grow, it can be difficult to start the process of brushing their teeth. Gentle wiping with a wet washcloth can be just as effective as brushing when the baby is feeding primarily on liquid formulas.
You can still start introducing a special baby toothbrush to teach your baby the habit of brushing his teeth. It is recommended to brush or wipe the baby's teeth after each meal and especially after the baby has drunk milk because it contains a lot of sugar. This will help you avoid caries from baby bottles. It is important to remember that babies have a very strong nausea and if brushing their teeth makes them nauseous, it will make brushing their teeth a bad experience. To avoid nausea, it is important to never brush your baby's teeth while lying down. Try to make the brushing process very fun for the child to get into the habit and do it with envy.
What is the danger that the child develops cavities if he does not use a toothpaste with fluoride? It is quite possible to keep a good hygiene of the mouth by using a child toothpaste without fluoride. It is interesting to know that the number of caries in countries where water is fluoridated is almost identical to that in countries that do not practice fluoridation of public water. The impact fluoride has on caries is really minimal.
And yes, there are other ways to make sure that your baby or child will have healthy teeth and without the risk of fluorosis and brain poisoning. Here's what you can do:
- Cod liver oil. You can start giving cod liver oil the moment you start introducing solid food into your child's menu. Cod liver oil is one of the richest sources of vitamins A, D and K2. This trio of nutrients works in synergy to prevent and even reverse small existing cavities.
- Probiotics for children. Use a special probiotic formula for children. You can even mix the probiotics with the child's food. Probiotics are very important for babies born by caesarean section who have not been exposed to vaginal bacteria at birth. Usually this is the time when my mother's rich microbiome is passed to the newborn, so it is important to take action if it did not happen. The use of antibiotics makes probiotics even more vital for babies. To sum up, probiotics are extremely important for the health of babies.
- Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 in drops. Lately, give Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 in drops to your child. These are supplements that can add even to baby milk formulas and can be started from birth.
So, to summarize: When reading the toothpaste ingredients, avoid fluoride, SLS and most essential oils. Give your child supplements such as cod liver oil, vitamins K2 and D and probiotics that will give the child a good foundation for oral health. These supplements will work together for the prevention of cavities and especially if you skip one or two tooth brushing. Avoid toothpaste child if it suits you because the important thing is brushing teeth. And do not forget to make the brushing process a fun activity for you and your child. The goal is to ensure that the child has a positive association of dental care.