Parents frequently ask “what toothpaste should I be using for my child”, and often will also ask which toothpastes are appropriate for adults? What should I use for bad breath? How can we narrow it down with so many choices?
First do not be swayed by products advertising “whitening”. Thanks to the power of advertising, almost every brand offers one or more whitening varieties of toothpaste. Science shows that brushing does not allow whitening agents to be in contact with the tooth long enough to cause significant or lasting whitening.
Second, most adult toothpastes (i.e. “tartar control”) are much too abrasive for primary tooth enamel, and many contain chemical additives that do not do anything for tooth cleaning. We recommend using toothpaste which contains fluoride that your children will use and like! The basics such as Crest and Colgate both make Kids Cavity Protection (and also offer an adult version). Aquafresh Triple Protection Sensitive is another good choice. Each of these contains fluoride, but do not have many of the extra added substances. Hello is another brand of toothpaste which does not contain many added substances and also contains Xylitol, which has been shown to help prevent cavities in children when used frequently.
Many toothpaste products add sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) in order to make toothpaste foam when used. Most of us often mistakenly think that foam is equivalent to clean. However, SLS has been linked to the formation of canker sores. For children presenting with oral ulcers, we often will first recommend changing their toothpaste. For a children’s toothpaste that is complete free of Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), we recommend Hello toothpaste, and Squiggle Enamel Saver toothpaste. Both are Xylitol toothpastes with Fluoride. Other varieties include Tom’s of Maine Clean and Gentle SLS Free, and Kiss My Face Kids Berry Smart.