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Dr. Cynthia Pelley
Call us today at (503) 235-0313

Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
Sellwood Location

8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
Click Here for Directions

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Toothpaste and Your Kids

Little girl with toothbrush and paste  toothpaste
We are so excited to help you and your kids build positive oral hygiene habits! As you know, it’s important to start them early so that they can start reaping the benefits early and often. We have compiled a page of our recommendations regarding early oral hygiene habits. Remember that we recommend bringing your child in to see us at around the one year mark so that we can get them started down the road to great oral hygiene early.

Fluoride or fluoride-free?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is very important to the long-term health of your kid's teeth. This mineral and others like calcium and phosphate help to remineralize the enamel of teeth and protect them from decay-causing bacteria. Fluoride is most commonly ingested in water or through foods, where it enters the bloodstream and helps to strengthen developing teeth. Fluoride is present in most toothpaste. You can even ask for a fluoride treatment here, at our office. Without fluoride, it can be very difficult or impossible to prevent cavities.

The only benefit that toothpaste provides is that of delivering a dose of fluoride, so it doesn’t make too much sense to brush without the use of a fluoride enriched toothpaste. There is one instance where fluoride-free toothpaste makes good sense – when your child is too young to spit out the toothpaste.

Can fluoride hurt my kid’s teeth?

While fluoride is excellent for the health of your children’s teeth, it can have some downsides if too much is administered. Ingesting large quantities of fluoride in early childhood can result in the development of white or brown spots on teeth, which is a condition that is known as fluorosis. Until your child is old enough to spit out their toothpaste, we recommend the use of a fluoride free toothpaste that will get them used to the sensation of toothpaste.

Brushing for Toddlers

Understanding the basics of brushing for every age is key in helping your child to maintain a healthy mouth until they can take over the task themselves. When your child receives their first tooth, you should start brushing it twice a day with a fluoride-free toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Always use a soft bristled toothbrush and try your best to clean all the surfaces of the teeth and gums.

The rule-of-thumb for the amount of time you should spend brushing teeth is around two minutes. That being said, we understand that it can be extremely difficult to accomplish two minutes of brushing a toddler’s teeth. Try to make brushing a fun affair by pairing the activity with some music or a short video. Kids love routine, so if you can build a fun routine with your kids that involves brushing their teeth, it will help the process tremendously.

One of the best ways to gain the interest of your kids is to let them pick out their toothbrush. There are so many fun and exciting toothbrushes available today that we are certain they will find their spirit toothbrush!

Call us today at (503) 235-0313 to schedule an appointment.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202