What is the suitable toothpaste for your child?
Organic or non-organic, that is the question!
Choosing the right toothpaste is very important when it comes to having healthy teeth for your amazing little ones. Some parents choose the toothpaste based on the flavour and packaging design instead of the ingredients of the toothpaste.
The trick is: ingredients do matter!
Here is what happens: if the fluoride is not of sufficient concentration, this fluoridated toothpaste is not giving the child the protection needed to safe guard the tooth against baby tooth decay.
My biggest recommendation is always consult your paediatric dentist and check what works best for your child.
Paediatric dentists have different opinions when advising parents on toothpaste selection as there are many factors to consider and so many brands to choose from.
There are usually two types of toothpastes available in the market:
- Non organic, or fluoridated pastes
- Organic: fluoride free that depends on other different active ingredients.
- For the love of Fluoride:
To fluoride loving parents here is my advice:
Fluoride is a very important naturally occurring mineral that has a twofold beneficial role to protect teeth from cavities. First it makes teeth stronger by strengthening the enamel and second it makes the bacteria responsible for tooth decay to become weak by altering their enzymes.
BUT…there is always a but….Fluoride does have “fame” for being toxic!
Therefore as a parent you need to know that there are many fluoride toothpaste concentrations available in the market and that you need to know their numbers.
In Dubai, I found in supermarkets and pharmacies, concentrations ranging from as little as 500 ppm (way too little) up to 1500 ppm!
According to new research done by the department of health in the UK, it has been discovered that there is zero percent benefit in using toothpaste with 500 ppm concentration. And that for children ages 0 to 3 years of age, the minimum fluoride concentration is 1000 ppm.
If the child is 3 to 6 years old, 1000 ppm concentration can be suggested if the child does not develop any new decay cavities and is not at any risk for developing decay.
If unfortunately the child is at risk of decay and has so many active cavities, they do need 1500 ppm as it reduces the risk drastically of having more decay.
A child 6 years old and above, definitely needs 1500 bpm. The concentration number increases based on the age of your child.
For all these concentrations, the trick is to place just the right amount of toothpaste needed for the child according to his or her age. Plus follow the new recommendation which is swipe the toothpaste, brush, spit and no rinsing. No rinsing allows the fluoride to stay bound to the tooth enamel and minimizes the risk of the child swallowing the water with the fluoride ending being unwanted in the stomach!
- For the love of everything natural and free:
For parents who don’t want fluoride and are looking for organic toothpastes, they should choose carefully.
I always recommend parents getting an education into what goes as an ingredient into the tooth paste- because for the most part some organic toothpastes add SUGAR! Yes just that as an active ingredient. Even though these sugars are alternative sugars, not really sugar but do you want your child to be brushing the teeth with sugar? Really!
Active ingredients to look out for:
My biggest recommendation is to look for an organic toothpaste with an active ingredient that protects the tooth just like fluoride does!
- One such recommendation is to look for formulations that have“Liquorice”. But why liquorice? It is a potent antibacterial that suppresses oral bacterial growth and helps keep the mouth healthy and clean.
- Another good active ingredient is calcium protein. Activated calcium helps restore the natural balance and crystal strength naturally found in Enamel to keep those teeth shiny and sparkly for much longer.
Activated calcium is ready to “re-mineralize” the tooth and is readily available from saliva. There are many new formulations in the market that targets the saliva as a reservoir for fixing the teeth! Pretty innovative!
Look for formulations like MI Paste or Tooth Mousse- great innovative technology that is evidence based to help the tooth go back to its original structure!
To conclude, I can’t stress enough whether you are pro fluoride or not: always look for the active ingredients and the fluoride concentration. If in doubt please ask your children’s dentist, a dentist for toddlers will be able to help you make your decision.
So don’t delay your child his first Pediatric dentist visit, at our pediatric dentistry clinic in Dubai health care city you can schedule an appointment, we will be happy to give you your child the best dental care.
“To a lifetime of healthy happy smiles!”