The Difference Between Child and Adult Toothpastes


Fluoride is a useful ingredient for dental health, but can be potentially dangerous in very high doses. Most people will not overdose on fluoride even if they brush their teeth several times a day. Children, on the other hand, have a significantly smaller body mass, which means they are more susceptible suffer from fluoride toxicity.

Kid vs. Adult Toothpaste: The Differences

Children’s toothpaste has less fluoride in it than adult toothpaste. This is due to the fact that children’s systems are less tolerant, their bodies are smaller, and they could suffer from a condition known as fluorosis or fluorosis. Dentists recognize that fluoride is healthy in moderate amounts but can be dangerous in high doses

For children, fluorosis can result in permanent discoloration of the teeth because it occurs while their tooth enamel is still forming. For that reason, dentists recommend less fluoride in children’s toothpaste than in adult toothpaste.

When should children begin brushing their teeth?

You should begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they begin to erupt. However, adult toothpaste likely has too much fluoride in it. This can be a larger concern in areas that fluoridate water. However, you should avoid using adult toothpaste for children even in areas that don’t fluoridate their water.

How to brush children’s teeth

You’ll want to start with as little children’s toothpaste as possible. For children under two, only a small smear of low-fluoride toothpaste is necessary to get the job done. By the time your children are five years or older, you can upgrade to a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste. After age six, you may begin discussing the use of an adult toothpaste with your dentist.

Is fluorosis dangerous?

No. Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition impacting the teeth. In most cases, it is so mild that it’s not noticeable. In other cases, treatment can help. Fluoride toxicity, on the other hand, occurs when someone ingests large quantities of fluoride at the same time.  Each year, hundreds of children end up in the hospital with abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea due to acute fluoride toxicity, but this is often due to consumption of ground water that is abnormally saturated with fluoride.

Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Family Dentist Today

Peak Family Dental Care believes that good dental habits begin young. That being said, children’s sensitive anatomies must be considered. If you have any questions concerning your child’s dental care, don’t hesitate to call us today in Flagstaff and learn more about dental health for children.

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