While adult toothpaste is generally boring old mint flavour, children’s toothpaste always looks so enticing; especially when they are in fun flavours like strawberry and bubble-gum.
Besides the flavour palette, many people are curious as to whether there really is a chemical difference between children and adult toothpastes, or whether it’s just a ploy to sell families more toothpaste.
Is it worth the extra money?
Children’s toothpaste is marketed in a very colourful way, and many manufacturers even add cartoon characters on the packaging to get kids to show interest in the product, but Nicola Innes, Professor of Paediatric Dentistry, University of Dundee said in a blog for The Conversation, that when you look beyond the colourful packaging and they’re selling little of extra value.
It’s important for parents to buy a brand that has the right amount of fluoride for their child (expressed as parts per million of fluoride (ppmF)). Read the ingredients on the back of toothpaste tubes and you realise there is a big difference in the amount of fluoride in different brands. Children’s brands vary from 500ppmF to 1,450ppmF while adult brands vary from 1,000ppmF to 1,450ppmF.
The rule of thumb is that children over the age of three can use regular toothpaste.
A lower ppmf is advised for toddlers, but not because there are any health risks involved. Besides the taste of regular toothpaste possibly being too pungent for them, the only presumed danger of higher fluoride is it leaving white marks on their teeth.
How much toothpaste should children use?
According to First Teeth, if your child is under 2 years old, toothpaste on their toothbrush should be the size of a grain of rice. For children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, use a pea-sized amount of paste.
Always supervise brushing with younger children, to ensure that they cover the entire surface area of their teeth. If they don’t, they are at risk of painful cavities and rotten teeth!
Cover you family’s smiles the right way, and contact Affinity Dental to see which dental plan works for all of you.