Let’s talk toothpaste with Dr. Shahnaz Ahmed of West County Pediatric Dentistry in Ballwin, MO

Fun fact; people have been using materials to clean their teeth since 500 B.C.. It started with crushed burnt hooves and egg shells. Thankfully, things have improved since then and we now have a wide assortment of toothpastes to choose from.

Ingredients in ‘natural’ and ‘conventional’ toothpastes are very similar. The choice comes down to your kids taste preference, and your preference with how they’re flavored and dyed. For this post we did a super scientific West County Pediatric Dentistry experiment (just kidding, we just went to the Target near Vlasis Park and looked at the labels. Ha!) and compared Colgate’s Strawberry Smash Toothpaste, and Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry.

To start with, for the happiest smiles and happiest kid dentist in Ballwin, MO, make sure there’s fluoride in your toothpaste. In fact, among the many shared ingredients between the two toothpastes we compared, the most important is fluoride. Fluoridehelps prevent painful cavities and decay, andis so important for the health of your kids’ teeth. Most kids who have fluoride in their drinking water, and use a toothpaste that contains fluoride are getting a sufficient amount to prevent issues. You can see if it’s in your drinking water here;

https://nccd.cdc.gov/DOH_MWF/Default/Default.aspx

In the past, some have said that fluoride toothpaste should only be used for kids old enough to know how to spit into the sink. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, West County Pediatric Dentistry, and Dr. Shahnaz Ahmed recommend fluoride toothpaste be used from the start. The amount they recommend using varies depending on age. A tiny amount, the size of a grain of rice, should be used for kiddos two and under. This amount is safe if ingested. However, you should encourage your child to lean forward so that their spit and toothpaste fall out of their mouth. Once they get to the age of two, it’s easier to tell them to spit their toothpaste out and they can have a pea sized amount of toothpaste.

If your kids have a sensitive mouth, or you notice that they’re resistant to brushing their teeth, try switching things up. It could be that a more conventional brand has an abrasive or detergent that is too harsh for them. It could also be that they prefer one flavor over another. Take a trip to the store together the next time you’re ready to re-stock! Giving your kiddos say in their toothpaste decision can be empowering, and make them more willing to keep their twice daily tooth brushing schedule.

The toothpaste we use at West County Pediatric Dentistry is Crest. Dr. Ahmed likes it because it’s ADA approved, has fluoride, and was invented in Indiana University, the dental school and pediatric dental program that Dr. Ahmed graduated from.

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