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As pediatric dentists, the professionals at Bay Area Kids Dentist understand the importance of maintaining kids’ dental health from a young age, and one of the most crucial aspects of oral care is using the right toothpaste. 


We want to provide you the basics on what you’ll need to know about toothpaste for kids, including when to start using it, the best type of toothpaste, and the right amount to use. We’ll also weigh in on the fluoride debate and dive into the significance of regular dental checkups with a pediatric dentist for your child’s overall dental well-being.


Let’s get started.


When Should You Start Using Toothpaste?


The journey toward good oral hygiene begins even before your child’s first tooth appears. To clean your baby’s gums, you can use a clean, damp cloth or a soft silicone finger brush. 


However, once the first tooth emerges — usually around six months of age — it’s time to introduce toothpaste. Start with a grain-sized amount of toothpaste to gently brush the tooth and gums. Then, as more teeth come in, you can gradually increase the amount of toothpaste.


The Best Type of Toothpaste for Kids


As you move forward in your child’s dental health journey, you may need to explore the toothpaste options available to you. 


As much as possible, try to look for toothpaste specifically designed for children, as these are formulated to be gentle on their developing teeth and gums. Here are just a few picks you can start with:

  • Colgate for Kids Toothpaste
  • Crest Kids SparkleFun
  • Hello Kids Fluoride Toothpaste
  • Tom’s of Maine Children’s Toothpaste
  • Aquafresh for Kids Toothpaste


All of these products have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance, which means that they meet the recommended standards for safety and effectiveness. You can rest assured that these toothpastes can protect your children’s oral health.


Fluoride or No Fluoride?


Simply put, fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening the enamel and making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Because of this, pediatric dentists — including those of us at Bay Area Kids Dentist — recommend fluoride toothpaste for kids. 


However, if you have concerns about fluoride intake, you can consult with any of our pediatric dentists for guidance specific to your child. 


How Much Toothpaste to Use


Once you have narrowed down your search for the best toothpaste, it’s time to learn what the right amount of toothpaste is. 


For children under three years old, a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice is sufficient. For kids aged three to six, a pea-sized amount is enough to coat their teeth appropriately. 


As they grow older and more teeth sprout, your kids will learn to add more toothpaste to ensure that they clean their teeth properly. 


Regular Checkups with a Pediatric Dentist


While home oral care is crucial, regular checkups with a pediatric dentist are equally important. These visits look at your child’s current dental health, as well as provide input and treatments to help prevent future problems. 


The pediatric dentists at Bay Area Kids Dentist specialize in caring for kids’ teeth and understand their unique needs. We can identify early signs of dental problems, provide guidance on proper oral care techniques, and offer treatments like dental sealants to protect against cavities.


During these checkups, our board-certified pediatric dentists will perform a thorough examination, clean your child’s teeth, and provide valuable insights into their oral health. Hopefully, by the end of each session, your child will become familiar with the dental environment and develop a more positive attitude towards oral care.


Trust Your Child’s Dental Health to Bay Area Kids Dentist


Starting dental care early, using fluoride toothpaste in appropriate amounts, and maintaining a consistent relationship with a children’s dentist are all key components of your child’s oral health journey.


At Bay Area Kids Dentist, we understand the significance of gentle and effective dental care for kids. With four locations across the Bay Area, our board-certified pediatric dentists are dedicated to providing top-notch care for your child’s precious smile. From the first tooth to teenage years, our services are here to support your child’s oral health every step of the way. Schedule an appointment with me and my team today and give your child the gift of a healthy, happy smile that lasts a lifetime.