Parents naturally want what’s best for their kids and that includes dental care. Taking your children to the dentist is important but so is making sure they’re cleaning their teeth properly at home. It’s never too early to start good brushing and flossing habits which is why I wanted to count down some of the top toothpaste brands for kids.
I get a lot of patients who want to know which kinds of toothpaste their kids should be using depending on their unique circumstances. Whether you want something organic or something fluoride-free, there’s a toothpaste out there that will be perfect for your child.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has no adverse side-effects when used correctly but if you do not want your child to use fluoride toothpaste, I recommend the Jack N’ Jill Natural Fluoride Free Toothpaste. The Jack N’ Jill brand uses xylitol (naturally-occurring alcohol found in plant material) to promote oral health instead of fluoride. Xylitol helps prevent tooth decay and is naturally sweet, making it the perfect ingredient for kids’ toothpaste. Jack N’ Jill toothpaste is affordable and comes in many different flavors (including flavorless).
A lot of parents struggle with how to take care of their infant’s developing smile. As your baby’s teeth come in, it’s important to try to clean them using a soft bristle brush or even a “finger brush” that’ll be gentle on their gums. Pair that soft brush with Spry Kids Tooth Gel to keep any cavities from milk or juice at bay. Like Jack N’ Jill, Spry also uses xylitol instead of fluoride so it’s perfect for parents who want a more organic approach to oral health. This product isn’t technically toothpaste — it’s tooth gel. This more or less means your child can swallow it and it can be left on their teeth for longer than your typical toothpaste.
While there are a decent amount of parents who’re looking for non-fluoride toothpaste, there’s twice as many who are looking for fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is the best way to prevent cavities in both children and adults. I always highly recommend that parents buy fluoride toothpaste.
One of my favorite toothpaste brands is Toms of Maine because they use organic ingredients that are still tough on tooth decay. There are no artificial foaming agents or preservatives as there are in your typical bottle of Crest. While the normal Toms of Maine toothpaste products would be fine for your kids, they do make a special toothpaste just for kids that comes in a natural strawberry flavor.
Getting kids to floss is even harder than getting adults to floss — but, unfortunately, it’s exponentially more important. Kids who floss grow up to be adults who floss which is why I always adamantly encourage parents to get their kids flossing as early as possible. Flossing can be a little uncomfortable but it is the best way to prevent periodontal disease, gum recession, and other serious problems.
DenTek Kids Fun Flossers are perfect for kids who understand how to floss but struggle with using small flossers or traditional string. DenTek’s flossers have a larger handle for easier use and they come in fruity flavors to make flossing a little more fun. If your child is finding it difficult to use any kind of flosser, GumChucks Kids may be the better way to go. GumChucks is the only flossing product that allows kids to floss their back teeth without forcing them to put their hands in their mouths (and encourage the spread of germs). The long handles make flossing a breeze even for the most novice flossers.
Thumb-sucking is the hardest habit for kids to kick because it’s an instinctive self-soothing behavior. When they’re upset or trying to go to sleep, they learn that thumb-sucking can help them get into that mellow state. As they get older, and their soothing habit begins to deform their developing smile, they don’t want to let go of the behavior because it’s the only way they know how to calm down. Parents who don’t force their kids to stop thumb-sucking by the age of two can expect a lot of tears and temper-tantrums later on.
To make things a little easier for parents, dentists have invented some clever tools to help children stop the detrimental habit. To keep kids from ruining their teeth, palate, and developing facial shape, I recommend using the Nipit Hand Stopper, Mavala Stop Thumb Sucking and Nail Biting Deterrent, or the TGuard ThumbGuard. The Nipit Hand Stopper and the TGuard are glove-like instruments that inhibit a child from physically placing the thumb in their mouth. The thumb-sucking deterrent is a clear, invisible polish that’s safe to ingest but tastes bad. A few days with that on their thumbnail and your child will be over the habit!