Toothpaste with fluoride is an important part of good oral health, but for kids, it is necessary to manage how much fluoride they get. In the past, pediatric dentistry specialists did not recommend toothpaste with fluoride for very young children, because kids got enough fluoride through tap water. However, since more kids drink bottled water without fluoride now, recommendations from the American Dental Association has changed. Check at your kids’ dental clinic for advice on choosing toothpaste for your child’s specific needs. Here is a look at the generally recommended guidelines.
For kids under three, aim to use a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice twice per day. After age 3, your child should use a portion about the size of a pea, until your pediatric dentist recommends that your child move towards an adult-sized portion. The reason for restricting portion sizes is to prevent overconsumption of fluoride, especially while kids are too young to adequately spit out the toothpaste during brushing.