If you’re a parent, you may be wondering what toothpaste you should be using for your child through the various stages of their growth and life.

A lot of the advice you receive doesn’t necessarily specify age groups or milestones that must be met before toothpaste is switched. Fluoride, though necessary for a child’s teeth, isn’t safe to swallow, and some toothpastes seem like they don’t clean much.

Baby’s First Toothpaste?

If you have a very young child, it’s the optimal time to get them used to an oral hygiene routine that they will keep up with for the rest of their lives.

If you have a baby, you should start brushing their teeth the instant they start sprouting. They should also have their first dentist appointment by the time they’re a year old. But should you use toothpaste

Toothpaste is available for babies but some dentists recommend just using a soft-bristled baby toothbrush or finger brush and water. Toothpaste isn’t necessary unless recommended by your baby’s dentist. The more important part at this stage is getting your child used to the toothbrush.

Their teeth and gums at this stage are delicate so make sure not to brush too hard. Brushing should be a pleasant experience for your baby.

The Toddler Years

When your child can spit out toothpaste (around the age of two), you should be able to get your child used to toothpaste without fluoride in it. This will keep their teeth cleaner from the wider range of foods they’re eating, as well as getting them used to toothpaste as part of their oral hygiene routine.

The lack of fluoride will make it safer if your child makes mistakes. Many toothpastes for young children come in a variety of flavors that keep tooth brushing fun and exciting.

When shopping for your child’s first toothpaste, keep in mind that many children don’t like strong flavors like adults, so while you might find wild berry blast fun, it might be too much for your child to enjoy. Kid-friendly flavors are more likely to entice them to want to brush their teeth.

Introducing Fluoride

Your dentist will tell you when to switch to fluoridated toothpaste. It’s usually anywhere from the age of two to three years old. Don’t be afraid to discuss when this milestone should happen with your child’s dentist. Some children have issues with spitting out toothpaste for several years. In such instances, you might want to stick with a fluoride-free toothpaste until your child can be trusted to spit out toothpaste every time. As long as you keep up with regular dental appointments and make sure an oral hygiene routine is followed your child’s oral health shouldn’t suffer. If it does, your child’s dentist will catch it and make recommendations suited to your child’s needs and developmental stage.

Remember that pediatric dentists trained not just in dentistry but also in the special circumstances faced by developing mouths. Their advice on your child’s issues not just with checkups and general oral hygiene but also with issues that might crop up like crooked teeth, overbites, teeth grinding, and other complications can help keep your child healthy and happy.