At What Point Should My Child Start Using Toothpaste, and How Much is Safe to Use?


As a parent, you might be wondering at what point should my child start using toothpaste, and how much is safe to use?

Toothpaste isn’t necessary until your child’s first tooth comes in. Until then, taking care of his smile can be done with just a soft, wet washcloth or a piece of gauze.

When your child’s first tooth emerges, that’s when it becomes important to switch to a toothbrush and toothpaste. But at this point it’s important just to use a small toothbrush and only a very small amount of toothpaste. Too much fluoride can result in a condition known as fluorosis. This condition results in the appearance of tiny white specks or streaks on permanent teeth. In more extreme cases, the enamel may end up discolored or pitted. Regardless, a cosmetic solution can typically ease the appearance of fluorosis later on.

Toothpaste isn’t the only source of fluoride parents should be aware of, though. Most communities have fluoridated tap water. Studies have shown that in places where that’s the case, rates of decay are lower by about 50 percent. That means you should consider giving your child water straight from the tap instead of in a bottle form. Often, bottled water contains no fluoride at all or very little.

But just how much fluoride should your little one be exposed to at this point? That’s a question one of our Kidtastic pediatric dentist would be happy to answer for you. Even though too much fluoride can be a bad thing, the right amount of fluoride strengthens teeth by preventing the loss of important minerals from tooth enamel. That’s important for developing smiles.

Before one of our doctors recommends a certain course of action, a variety of factors will be taken into consideration. Those factors include your child’s age, his personal risk for developing decay, and his diet. Considering all of these things will help us determine just how much fluoride your child needs.

Your child should have his first dental appointment with us by the time he’s reached his first birthday, or when his first tooth comes in. That will let our Kidtastic dental team get an early start on monitoring the development of his teeth. Catching problems early is an important part of our mission. With our years of experience and training, and our comprehensive selection of services, we’re confident we can help your child.

During your child’s appointment, we’ll not only complete a comprehensive oral exam, we can also talk to you about how to care for your child’s smile at home. We can also discuss nutritional tips and answer any questions you might have about topics related to thumb sucking or pacifier use. Both of these are normal but should be stopped by a certain age to ensure that primary and permanent teeth develop properly.

Has your child just gotten his first tooth? Call Kidtastic today to reserve an appointment with one of our pediatric dentist. With multiple Arizona locations, we can serve patients from MesaGilbertQueen Creek, and all surrounding areas with the kind of pediatric care you’ve been looking for. Get in touch with us today if you’re child needs care.