Thought about a more natural toothpaste for your kids? Here is a guide to choosing a good one.
Why natural toothpaste?
Many toothpaste brands have additives that you may not want for your child, like triclosan, SLS, artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors. Although some of these are unavoidable, it makes sense to choose as natural of a product as possible. The biggest difference between regular and natural kids toothpaste is the level of sweetness. Natural toothpastes are not very sweet, but this is an advantage. Your taste buds will adapt your taste for sweet based on the sweetest thing you eat. If you give your taste buds a super sweet taste everyday, they will need more sweetness in other foods and drinks. Have you ever tried your child’s toothpaste? We think it is so sweet it is sickening. Anything you taste after that will seem not sweet at all.
You may want to choose a toothpaste that is available in BOTH fluoride containing, and non-fluoride containing. This is a HUGE advantage. When you have both types in the same flavor and same packaging it makes it easy to give you child one or the other without protest. Whether your child needs a fluoride containing toothpaste or not is a decision between you and your child’s dentist. Many times it is appropriate to give a VERY small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Your child probably enjoys having a big glop of toothpaste on his/her brush, so you may try giving a very small amount of fluoride containing paste first when YOU brush, then giving a larger amount of non-fluoride containing paste for him/her to use.
What to look for on the label?
The science behind toothpastes generally suggests that the only ingredient that has a significant proven ability to fight cavities is fluoride. Anything else does not really matter. There is weak support for including a sweetener called xylitol. In general, you don’t need to worry about what should be IN your toothpaste, just eliminate anything you don’t like (example: aspartame, artificial colors).
How do they taste?
We tasted quite a few of the natural kids toothpastes and had child volunteers taste these brands too. They said they liked all of them and didn’t consistently pick out a favorite. They are less sweet than other popular brands. We lined them up according to best tasting (left) to least (right) in the photo above.
Your child may actually like mint flavored paste – try it, we love fresh minty breath. We use an adult toothpaste (available in BOTH fluoride and non-fluoride containing) without SLS for our kids.
Hope this guide helps! For more information about our practice philosophy click here, Whole Health Dental Care.