Fluoride is found in soil, water and air. All water bodies have some amount of fluoride in them although level of fluoride might differ.
Toothpaste and water supplies have fluoride as it can help:
- Prevent cavities
- Strengthen weakened tooth enamel
- Reverse early tooth decay
- Limit the growth of oral bacteria
- Slow the loss of minerals from tooth enamel
Fluoride in toothpaste is of a higher concentration than fluoride in water and hence should not be swallowed.
Can babies and toddlers use fluoride based toothpastes?
As soon as a baby’s teeth start coming, the cleaning process should start with toothpaste not more than a grain of rice or just a smear on the brush.
In order to avoid swallowing of the paste the baby’s face should be tilted so that the excess water dribbles out.
If a larger amount of toothpaste is used and the baby or toddler swallows it, they may develop an upset stomach.
Toothpaste for toddlers
- At the age of 3 children learn to spit, hence the amount of toothpaste can be increased to the size of a pea.
- Children below the age of 6 should brush under adult supervision and their spitting of toothpaste should be monitored as they still have a reflex towards swallowing whatever comes to their mouth.
- If the kid swallows more than a pea amount of toothpaste continuously it might get an upset stomach.
- Excess of fluoride can damage the teeth and the body functions and hence swallowing of toothpaste should be completely avoided
- Supervising children while they brush and keeping toothpaste out of reach can help to avoid this.
- Fluoride toothpaste is safe for older children with fully developed spit and swallow reflexes and adults.
What is high-fluoride toothpaste?
High fluoride toothpaste is for people with a heavy tooth decay and like any other medication they are prescribed by the dentist. This paste should not be used by other family members.
Do fluoride toothpastes have alternatives?
Toothpastes without fluoride are good substitutes for fluoride toothpastes, however, they can’t control tooth decay, which is why they are to be used more often to keep the teeth clean.
Fluoride toothpastes are mostly safe and safe to use by children and adults. But it’s important to use it in the right proportion. Extra care should be given when used by babies and young children.