When a new mommy recently asked me if she could just grab a tube of toothpaste from the medicine
cabinet to use on her new baby’s teeth, I couldn’t get my “Please don’t!” out fast enough. When I asked her, “Who do you think adult toothpastes are made for?” she chuckled and said, “Well, adults I suppose!” She was right. Adult toothpastes are formulated for precisely that, adults. That’s why, when it comes to babies, it is so important to use a toothpaste formulated just for them and their tiny teeth & gums. We know there are a lot of baby toothpastes to choose from, so we’re going to share some insights and baby brushing basics to help you make the best decision for your baby’s oral care.
Baby Teeth Matter. Start Early to Prevent Tooth Decay.
Does brushing your baby and toddler’s tiny teeth really matter? The answer is unequivocally, yes! Baby teeth, tiny as they are, are at high risk for developing cavities when sugars from liquids like breast milk, formula, and cow’s milk remain on teeth for long periods of time. Similarly, toddlers are equally at risk for developing cavities from sugar consumption through juice, smoothies, fruit, and sticky, sweet treats. Numbers reveal that the longer parents wait to begin a healthy dental regimen, the higher the risk their baby is for tooth decay. In fact, by the age of 4, more than 1 in every 4 children has at least one cavity. That’s why the #1 chronic childhood disease in this country is tooth decay…Yikes! We recommend scheduling your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday and starting to brush baby’s teeth as soon as you see that first, tiny tooth erupt through the gumline.
Ingredients Matter. Save the Adult Toothpastes for the Adults.
When it comes to adult toothpastes, many of the ingredients used for adults are simply too harsh to be used for your baby. Examples of these are ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and heavy abrasives. Though these ingredients may help to keep adult teeth clean, these ingredients may cause canker sores and irritation in your baby and toddler’s tiny teeth and gums. Additionally, “spicy and hot flavors” like peppermint, cinnamon, spearmint, and clove are often too strong for a baby. While these flavors are often the preferred choice for many adults, the intensity of these flavors often prevent your baby from wanting to brush early and often. So, when taste is half the battle, go in with half the battle won. Choose a natural flavor that is gentle, delicious, and familiar to your baby and toddler. We recommend flavors like pear, apple, strawberry or banana!
Baby Brushing Matters. Make it Stress-free!
When choosing a baby toothpaste, here are few more things to consider to ensure you are making the right choice. Did you know? Babies generally don’t learn how to spit until they’re between 2-3 years old (may we note that’s about the same age your toddler also begins to fully employ the word “No!”). Be sure to choose a natural baby toothpaste that contains clean, gentle and Safe-to-Swallow ingredients. This means the product you choose should not contain sulfates, harsh abrasives, additives, preservatives, or dyes. You may also want to choose a toothpaste which incorporates Xylitol, a natural sweetener and known cavity fighter, like in Happy Teeth™ natural baby and toddler toothpaste. In terms of fluoride in baby and toddler toothpaste, this is somewhat controversial. Some parents may choose to wait until their baby and/or toddler learns to spit. However, because recommendations vary, we always recommend you speak with your medical and/or dental professional about fluoride and when to incorporate it into your baby’s daily dental routine.
Baby teeth matter, so keep them healthy and cavity-free! Start brushing as soon as you see that first baby tooth appear. Be sure to use a specially formulated baby and toddler toothpaste that is made with natural ingredients that are clean, gentle and Safe-to-Swallow! Now, let’s start brushing to create healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Kasey Pitillo, Founder & CEO, Happy Teeth, LLC.
My name is Kasey Pitillo, a dental products industry veteran, mom of three daughters, wife of an LA City Firefighter and Founder and CEO of Happy Teeth, LLC. Happy Teeth™ is not just a product company interested in making a quick sale. We are a family-owned, woman-owned company with an unwavering passion to provide natural oral care products exclusively made for babies to help prevent tooth decay.