Best Toothpaste for Kids

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Proper oral hygiene is high on the list of priorities for many parents with young children. However, getting and keeping children interested in brushing their teeth can be difficult for parents. A part of this challenge is finding a toothpaste that appeals to a child while still being a good choice for early dental hygiene. Instilling good oral hygiene practices begins when they are young, so finding a toothpaste that is the best of both worlds is essential.

This article will discuss the best toothpaste for kids and what parents should look for when choosing one.

Toothpaste for Kids Reviews

Not all kinds of toothpaste are the same. What’s fantastic for an adult may not necessarily be the best choice for a child. Children’s teeth differ from adults’, so choosing the proper toothpaste for younger teeth is crucial. 

In addition, children are much pickier when it comes to flavor than adults. So when selecting a toothpaste, ensuring that your child enjoys its taste is equally important.

The following review includes four kinds of toothpaste options for children, along with their strengths and weaknesses. With this information, parents can make an informed decision as to what’s best for their child. Be aware that there could be some trial and error when picking the right one, but this is necessary to ensure that your child is actively engaged in oral hygiene.

Squigle Enamel Saver Toothpaste

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Squigle Enamel Saver toothpaste certainly has a name to catch your child’s interest. Instead of saying it’s time to brush your teeth, “Squigle time!” has a more child-friendly ring. Not only does this toothpaste have a fun name, but it also has excellent attributes to promote healthy teeth. 

For example, this tube of toothpaste has 36% xylitol. Some research studies suggest that this natural sweetener can help to prevent tooth decay and cavities. It works by putting a stop to those nasty cavity causing bacteria, Strep Mutans, because the bacteria is unable to grow when xylitol is around.  Even better, the xylitol in Squigle is natural and comes from birch and beech trees..

Squigle has a very mild peppermint flavor and contains no artificial colors or preservatives. This makes it an excellent choice for parents who like to limit access to such things to their children. It’s also free from harsh abrasives, so it’s safe for children’s teeth yet still cleans them well. The toothpaste contains 0.24% sodium fluoride. This is the dose recommended to strengthen tooth enamel.  This toothpaste is recommended for children ages six and up, as well as adults.  Remember to use a pea size amount for children.

The Good

With no artificial colors or preservatives, Squigle is a good toothpaste choice for parents who want to limit their child’s intake of unnecessary ingredients. Its paste isn’t overly abrasive and has a low yet adequate amount of sodium fluoride. Squigle has zero sodium lauryl sulfate, or foaming agent, which often irritates the mouth and may even cause canker sores.  Kids will love its cute name and attractive packaging.

The Bad

Most children do not like the taste of peppermint, and although Squigle’s mint flavor is mild, it could be a turn-off for a child’s sensitive palette.  

Tanner’s Tasty Paste Vanilla Bling

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Dr. Janelle Holden is not only a pediatric dentist, but she’s also a mom. Dr. Holden took her knowledge of children’s teeth and her experience as a mother and created Tanner’s Tasty Paste toothpaste. Since most children don’t enjoy the taste of mint, this one has several child-friendly flavors, and it is sweetened with xylitol.  Tasty Pasty Paste comes in the following fun flavors- Vanilla Bling, Cha Cha Chocolate, and Oh La La Orange.  Be warned, the orange flavor seems to be hard to find, but many of my patients love the Vanilla and Chocolate options.

Tanner’s Tasty Paste is saccharine-free and contains no artificial colors. Also absent is sodium lauryl sulfate, a foaming agent found in some toothpaste. Some studies suggest that it can increase the likelihood of developing aphthous ulcers (canker sores). Fortunately, this ingredient is absent from Tanner’s Tasty Paste.

In addition, dentists recommend this dose of sodium fluoride toothpaste. This one contains 0.24%, an adequate amount to strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay.

The Good

Tanner’s Tasty Paste contains the proper amount of sodium fluoride for kids, so you’ll know that their dental hygiene is maintained with proper brushing. A saccharine-free option that doesn’t rely on artificial colors or dyes is great for parents who prefer their children to brush with a paste that’s not overly loaded with chemicals. 

It’s sweetened with xylitol, and kids are more likely to be excited to brush their teeth with a vanilla or chocolate tasting treat.  Just remind your child this is not for swallowing!  Another plus is the fun packaging.

The Bad

Compared to similar pastes, this one’s on the pricey side. Although, if it means less cavities and dental visits for your child, I think it’s worth the cost.  Another downside could be your child trying to consume this product, like candy. If your child enjoys the taste of this toothpaste a bit too much, it might be best to keep it under lock and key.

Carifree Gel 1100

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Carifree Gel 1100 has a lot of parents interested. This kid’s tooth gel contains 0.24% sodium fluoride, xylitol and is available in 3 flavors: mint, citrus, and grape.

The flavor is a big influencer in getting your child to brush, and the citrus and grape-flavored options could keep them interested in their oral hygiene.  In addition to the benefits of fluoride and xylitol, Carifree Gel 1100 has nano hydroxyapatite and a neutral PH, which both work to reduce cavities and decrease tooth sensitivity.

There are many benefits to using nano-hydroxyapatite, and I am hoping to see more of this revolutionary technology as the gold standard in more of our over-the-counter toothpastes.  If you want to learn more about nano-hydroxyapatite, check out this article.

The Carifree Gel 1100 tube is airplane travel-friendly weighing in at 2.4 ounces, so you take it on vacation with the kids. It’s a low-abrasion toothpaste that’s perfect for young teeth. Its bland packaging won’t thrill your child, but they may enjoy the fun flavors.

There is also a prescription grade Carifree Gel 5000, which has an even greater concentration of fluoride and is perfect for children who are dealing with lots of cavities, or who struggle to brush well because of braces.  Be sure to speak with your pediatric dentist to find out which choice is appropriate for your child.

The Good

With a child-safe amount of sodium fluoride, Carifree Gel 1100 meets the requirements of pediatric dentists. Its two kid-friendly flavors of citrus and grape may be what parents need to keep their young one interested in proper oral hygiene. Also, the toothpaste’s combination of patented pH+ technology, xylitol, nano-hydroxyapatite and optimal fluoride concentration is perfect to help keep cavities away.

The Bad

Compared to a standard-sized tube of toothpaste, this one is small. And for what you get, many feel that the cost isn’t justified. Its bland packaging isn’t anything that kids will be attracted to, either. Some users don’t like that it comes in a tube more suited for hand cream or suntan lotion. Its high price is also a factor.  Keep in mind a little goes a long way, and the benefit of getting less cavities may outweigh the slight increase in cost per tube.

Hello Watermelon Kids Toothpaste

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Hello Watermelon Kids Toothpaste is the perfect choice for parents to ensure their children have healthy, clean teeth. 

Fluoride-free, this training toothpaste is recommended for children under the age of two.  Remember a small smear of toothpaste is more than enough to clean the teeth well.

The unique blend of natural ingredients helps to clean and strengthen teeth while protecting against cavities and bad breath. 

Hello contains high-quality ingredients like xylitol, aloe vera, erythritol, and a silica blend that gently polishes growing teeth. I would recommend this toothpaste for kids aged two years and younger.  

The Good 

Hello kids watermelon toothpaste is thoughtfully formulated with high-quality ingredients like xylitol and erythritol and soothing aloe. It is also fluoride-free, sulfate-free, and alcohol-free.  They also don’t test on animals. 

The watermelon flavor is also appealing to young kids who usually do not like traditional flavors such as mint. 

The Bad

This version of Hello toothpaste is fluoride free, which is an important ingredient in preventing cavities, so it’s best reserved for children under the age of two.

Buyer’s Guide

Keeping kids interested in caring for their dental health can sometimes be challenging. Parents must ensure they’re selecting a good toothpaste that will promote dental health while finding flavors their kids won’t shun. However, the more important factors are what the paste contains, whether it is safe for children and whether it will improve your child’s dental health.

Here we’ll discuss the most critical aspects of choosing the best toothpaste for kids.

Sodium Fluoride Content

A toothpaste with sodium fluoride is essential to keep teeth strong and to help prevent cavities. However, the amount of sodium fluoride in toothpaste should be of some concern when choosing the best toothpaste for kids. 

Some parents worry about their children swallowing too much of the paste, which parents fear could cause toxicity issues. However, ingesting a small amount of toothpaste won’t cause any toxicity issues. In fact, for sodium fluoride toxicity problems, they’d have to swallow at least an entire mouthful of toothpaste. 

Still, it’s crucial to ensure that the toothpaste they’re using has a child-friendly amount of sodium fluoride.

The recommended toothpaste dosage for children is 0.24% of sodium fluoride. Parents should carefully check the packaging information when selecting appropriate toothpaste for their children. A toothpaste with a higher concentration than 0.24% is better suited for adults, unless it is prescribed by your pediatric dentist for specific reasons and your child is older.

Fluoride added to toothpaste has been proven to help build healthy tooth enamel. Strong tooth enamel can help to prevent tooth decay and cavities by making them more resilient to food acids. Fluoride also helps to stop bacterial growth, which can attack healthy teeth. 

Safe to Swallow

When children first learn how to brush their teeth, they may swallow some of the paste. For parents concerned about this, choosing toothpaste with safe-to-swallow ingredients is a factor.

When choosing an appropriate toothpaste for children, ensure that it contains 0.24% or less sodium fluoride. Even at this low dose, your child would need to swallow an entire mouthful for it to cause them any distress or toxicity. Some toothpaste on the market may have a much higher percentage of sodium fluoride, so be sure to keep these away from children.  Use fluoride free toothpaste for children under two, a smear for children between the ages of two and three, and a pea sized amount for ages three to six.  Remember, children under the age of 3 are still learning to spit.

Abrasiveness and Foaming Agent

Abrasive ingredients added to toothpaste can help remove or dislodge food debris attached to teeth. These abrasive ingredients are usually fine for adult use but may not be as beneficial for younger teeth. 

Children’s teeth are more prone to abrasive damage, so consider purchasing a toothpaste of a low-abrasion variety. However, children don’t require abrasive toothpaste to maintain healthy teeth. An overly abrasive toothpaste can cause gum erosion in children. This is especially true in their early learning stages of brushing correctly. 

Another issue of overly abrasive toothpaste is that it can cause your child to develop canker sores. If this occurs, you’ll have an even more difficult time getting your child to brush.

A toothpaste’s abrasiveness level can be assessed by checking its RDA (relative dentin abrasivity) value. A score of 70 or lower is considered a low abrasive paste.

If canker sores are a concern, skip the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate, the foaming agent found in many toothpaste products on the market.

Flavors

Although toothpaste’s health benefits are parents’ main concerns for their children, it’s not of concern to the child. Many children can become stubborn when it comes to proper oral care and hygiene, so selecting a toothpaste they enjoy is essential in choosing the right one.

Several kinds of toothpaste come in fun and fruity flavors. However, many of them contain artificial flavors and dyes. These ingredients are unnecessary for proper dental health, and concerned parents should check product packaging to see what the toothpaste contains.

The pretty colors and flavors added to toothpaste may not be the best for your child. Avoid those that contain flavoring agents such as saccharin and other artificial sweeteners. Ensure that the toothpaste you select is free of sugar, which contradicts maintaining healthy teeth.

Finding a balance between what a child’s taste agrees with and one that is still a healthy choice can be difficult, but options are available that will suit both needs. You may need to try a few different kinds of toothpaste before you discover one your child likes that’s also a healthy choice.

Xylitol

Toothpaste that contains xylitol is an option for parents who want a more natural sweetener in their child’s toothpaste. Xylitol is a plant-based sugar substitute that is a healthier toothpaste sweetener than sugar or other types of sweeteners.

Some studies have suggested that xylitol can help prevent tooth decay, especially when combined with toothpaste containing sodium fluoride. Research suggests that this natural sweetener can slow the growth of Strep Mutans, the nasty little bacteria responsible for attacking tooth enamel.

FAQs

When should I begin brushing my child’s teeth?

When your child’s first tooth appears, usually around 6 months or so, is when proper dental hygiene should begin. You can gently brush these early teeth with water and a soft toothbrush designed especially for young teeth. By the age of 2, you’ll need to help them brush their teeth a minimum of twice a day. Once they are around 7 or 8 years old, you can teach them how to brush their teeth by themselves.

Is toothpaste with nano-hydroxyapatite suitable for my child?

Nano-hydroxyapatite has recently been added to some toothpaste brands in addition to sodium fluoride. Replacing fluoride with nano-hydroxyapatite in toothpaste is currently being researched.  There are many benefits when used together with xylitol and fluoride.  If you are unsure, discuss with your pediatric dentist, especially if your child is prone to cavities, or has a tough time brushing because of braces. 

My child fights me to brush their teeth. What can I do to make it more fun and attractive to them?

It can be challenging to get some children interested in maintaining the health of their teeth. Some parents have found that selecting a toothpaste flavor the child enjoys is the best way to get them to brush their teeth after meals. When choosing flavors, it’s best to select those that are free from chemicals. A good choice is to seek out those that use xylitol as a sweetener.

Related read: No More Yellow Teeth: Teeth Whitening for Kids

Best Toothpaste for Kids

Getting your child to brush their teeth can be a true parental challenge. Finding a balance between what your child likes and one with all your requirements can take some time. Essential considerations include ensuring that it’s a low-abrasion variety, has a child’s amount of sodium fluoride, and contains xylitol as a sweetener.

Squigle Enamel Saver toothpaste is a great choice and makes for a great starting point when attempting to find the right toothpaste for your child. Although mint flavored, it isn’t particularly overpowering, and most children tolerate the taste. The fun name and kid-friendly packaging could be enough to get them excited about their oral hygiene.

If toothpaste flavor is an issue for your child, try Tanner’s Tasty Paste Vanilla Bling. It’s certainly a winner in its taste, which could be half the battle to get your young one to brush. Carifree Gel 1100 also has two kid-friendly flavors, and is an excellent choice for those prone to cavities or tooth sensitivity.

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