Children and Fluoridated Toothpaste

June 26, 2014

by Cheryl CorreaSanté Dental Hygienist.

Fluoride has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective treatment in preventing dental cavities at all ages. It is certainly so for children as well, although certain precautions should be followed when young ones use fluoridated toothpaste

Childhood cavities can be devastating, so an early start is important. A number of factors contribute to whether a child is at a higher risk for early dental decay. Premature birth, a family history of cavities and regular use of sweetened (including natural sugar) drinks are just a few of the contributors that are a concern. A Santé Dental professional can help determine if your child is at a higher risk.

Parents may use a fluoridated toothpaste with confidence provided these Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommendations are followed. First, use only a small smear of fluoridated toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, from as soon as baby teeth erupt to age 3. Children from 3-6 years should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste. All children should brush 2X/day for 2 minutes. Second, children should be taught to spit out the toothpaste and follow with rinsing spits as soon as they are able. Finally all children should be assisted and/or supervised until they develop appropriate manual dexterity,

The CDA is confident that these precautions will optimize the benefit of fluoride’s decay-fighting properties while minimizing ingestion. Children who ingest too much fluoride can develop mild discolouration, white spots or streaking on their teeth, a condition called fluorosis. Nevertheless, by starting earlier, with careful adult assistance, a fluoridated toothpaste can reduce the possibilities of early decay, painful infections and expensive treatments

Visit us at Santé Dental to learn more about fluoride use, proper brushing and ideas to make brushing and flossing fun. Ask about our “First Smiles” children’s program, created to make their first dental appointment an awesome adventure. We want to help your child develop excellent dental habits to maintain their healthy smiles for a lifetime.

Prepared with resources from the Canadian Dental Association and the American Dental Association. For further information see: