When Should Children Use Toothpaste?


When to Start Brushing With Toothpaste?

When children are born, there are so many details to remember and they seem to grow so quickly. One of the aspects about a child that can catch up with us quickly is their teeth coming in. Boy, we sure know when it starts because they usually like to holler and tell us how much it hurts. When a baby’s teeth start trying to push through the gums, this is when you’ll want to start using toothpaste. However, there are certain amounts of toothpaste that are usually equated with various ages and stages in a child’s life.

Baby to Three Years

When a baby’s teeth start to push through the gums, this is when toothpaste should come into play. However, it’s suggested that only a little smear is used until about three years of age. Once they reach three, most of their baby teeth (if not all) have come in which means there are more to clean.

Three to Six Years of Age

As mentioned, the amount of toothpaste should be upped once a child reaches around three years of age. At this point, they should have all their baby teeth which means there are more teeth to clean than just the few they had been pushing through when they were younger. Not to mention, they’re really getting into eating normal foods which can cause more bacteria buildup in their mouth. Around the age of three, it’s suggested that instead if a little smear, a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste should be used.

It’s important to note that parents should be assisting their children until at least six years of age when it comes to brushing their teeth. Children are usually not capable of comprehending the importance of keeping their teeth clean and healthy, they just see it as a chore more than anything. Once the child is around six years of age is a good time to help them to learn taking the reins on their own. 

It’s also important to point out that fluoride toothpaste should be used with children in order for their teeth to stay strong and healthy. A soft, child-safe toothbrush should be used at all times. Adult toothbrushes are not only too big but they’re too hard for a child’s tender and softer teeth. Using an incorrect toothbrush can damage a child’s teeth.

When in doubt, always ask your pediatric dentist for help or information. They’ll be able to guide you down the right path concerning your child and their oral health. It’s always worth it to take the time to ask if you’re not sure since helping a child have impeccable oral health at an early age sets them up for oral health success down the road. 


Your child’s dentist will give you their recommendations for your child’s orthodontic needs and when they should visit our pediatric orthodontist office in Queen Creek or any of our other 2 East Valley Locations.