Parents worry about everything when it comes to their kids. It’s therefore no surprise that children’s oral hygiene is a tricky topic as it’s not a simple matter of buying a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. It’s about knowing what children’s young teeth need to remain healthy far into adulthood. However, getting the right toothpaste and toothbrush is an important element of that. So, what should you look for when choosing the best toothpaste and toothbrush to buy for your kids?
Below are a few pointers on how to go about doing just that.
The foremost indicator of the effectiveness of a toothpaste brand takes the form of backing from national and even international regulatory bodies. Good toothpastes should have the approval of the national bureau of dental or cosmetic standards which indicates that the product is safe regarding the health of its users. This approval takes the form of a special seal on the packaging of the toothpaste and even on the tube itself. This seal should be instantly visible on the outer display box as it usually has the acronym of the bureau.
The toothpaste should also preferably have the mark or the insignia of the national dentist organization as an indicator of meeting industry standards. Choosing a toothpaste bearing these two kinds of approvals is a sure first step in picking the proper toothpaste for your child.
Fluoride is a crucial structural component of tooth enamel. It helps to make the enamel hard and thereby able to resist the corrosive acids produced by bacteria found in the mouth. Fluoride also helps with the repair of worn out enamel. Thus, fluoride is crucial in the prevention of cavities in teeth and is a natural occurring mineral that is found in soil and rocks. Being naturally occurring, fluoride also finds its way into the food we eat and the water we drink. In fact, tap water is usually fluorinated as the benefits of fluoride to teeth are well known.
However, it’s important to note that there is such a thing as too much fluoride. This makes the teeth brittle and prone to discoloration. This discoloration takes the form of teeth attaining a brown staining. Fortunately, though you need not worry about too much fluoride when you purchase approved toothpaste brands as these will almost definitely contain the right levels of fluoride.
Children tend to have different taste preferences and toothpaste brands have taken this into account. Therefore, several mainstream toothpaste brands have different toothpaste flavours on offer. By picking fruity flavoured toothpaste, you increase the chance of having your child enjoy brushing their teeth and making routine oral hygiene fun. However, you must be keen in keeping your child from swallowing the toothpaste. If the toothpaste proves too sweet and flavourful for you, you can opt to use regular flavoured toothpaste for your child’s tooth brushing.
Considering that a child’s teeth are still developing, and their tooth enamel is not as hard, it would be prudent to avoid abrasive toothpaste for your kids. This is a simple and straightforward task. All you need to do is look for the term ‘abrasives’ in the ingredients list of the toothpaste display box. It’s worth noting that some companies have the term ‘diatomite’ on their ingredient list. This is the actual name of the naturally occurring rock that is ground up and used in toothpaste to help boost their cleaning action. So avoid diatomite containing toothpastes too.
Finally, when looking for the right toothpaste for your child, it does little harm to go for those brands that have offerings specifically tailored for kids. It would not be surprising to find that these brands meet the above criteria and even surpass it. Most mainstream toothpastes have toothpastes specifically designed for kids, which include Colgate, Sensodyne, Crest, Orajel and Aquafresh
Now that you have the best toothpaste for your child, it’s time to see about getting the best toothbrush for them. Here are a few guidelines:
Choosing a brush that is too big will make cleaning teeth at the back of the mouth difficult while a brush that is too small won’t clean the teeth effectively at all. The right size toothbrush for your kid should be able to reach the very last tooth in their gum easily yet able to brush thoroughly.
Since kids’ gums are still soft, it would be advisable to pick a toothbrush with bristles that are not too hard. Toddlers should use toothbrushes that are soft while older children can use toothbrushes of medium hardness.
Finally, the toothbrush should have the right appeal and design so your child would want to use it at least twice daily. If they like the look of it, they are more motivated to brush their teeth regularly and as you should change it every 2 to 3 months, you can alternate colours and designs using famous cartoon characters for example.
It’s mandatory that you teach your children how to brush their teeth properly and that you supervise them when they are younger. When older they will have developed a healthy oral hygiene routine and therefore have healthier teeth and gums.
Here are some things to consider for toothbrushing with kids:
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