Is Natural Toothpaste Safe for Kids?
Once you’re old enough to read the ingredients list of most conventional toothpaste, it’s no wonder many of us opt for natural formulations instead. But what about little ones? Is it safe to use natural toothpaste for kids? Let’s take a look at what you should consider when looking for healthy toothpaste for kids.
Drawbacks with Traditional Toothpaste
Starting a child’s oral care routine on the right foot is crucial. In fact, it’s thought that choosing the right toothpaste for children is just as important as choosing children’s aspirin over that which is adult-strength!
Making the right toothbrush and toothpaste decisions can really help to support a child’s overall oral hygiene, and regular brushing can help them develop good habits early on. Unfortunately, as parents or consumers, this requires us to perhaps be even more critical of conventional toothpaste than we would when considering swapping out traditional toothpaste for ourselves. While there are endless options of toothpaste available, most should only be used by children 12 years or older.
Because of their smaller bodies and undeveloped metabolisms, chemicals have a greater impact on children. This is an especially important consideration for kids under three years of age, because they have yet to develop their spit reflex and will likely swallow more than they’re able to spit out.
For these reasons, many look to children’s natural toothpaste options that are free of some of the common ingredients in traditional toothpaste. These include peroxide, brighteners, whiteners, antimicrobials, and ingredients that are too abrasive for a child’s thinner enamel.
Children's Natural Toothpaste
In fact, avoidance of these ingredients is one of the first ways children’s toothpaste stands apart from that formulated for adult teeth. Children’s toothpaste is typically free from these additives—as well as the strong minty taste that’s too intense for young taste buds!
Beyond avoiding dangerous chemicals, many parents also seek out the best natural fluoride free toothpaste for kids. Fluoride is recommended for kids and babies—but only a very, very small amount. For children under three, just a smear, or the amount equivalent to a single grain of rice is recommended.
What about those who want to avoid fluoride over concerns about fluorosis and other potential complications? There are studies indicating that xylitol toothpaste for toddlers is a good alternative to fluoride. Even better, xylitol improves dental hygiene in a variety of ways—by maintaining a neutral pH and providing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties,
Not only does xylitol step in for fluoride in many natural toothpaste options, but they’re also generally non-toxic, cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, and non-GMO. Packed with holistic, natural, and organic ingredients, natural toothpastes also offer plaque-fighting, breath-freshening, and gum-soothing benefits—all without the use of harsh chemicals.
How to Look for the Best Natural Toothpaste
Whether you’re looking for toothpaste for yourself, or support a little one with the best natural toothpaste for kids, here are a few things to look out for:
- Choose ingredients that are not only safe for enamel—but also support it. For kids, these include citric acid and xylitol.
- Help rid young mouths of bacteria. Ingredients like coconut oil and tea tree oil have natural antibacterial properties.
- Avoid toxic chemical ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, artificial dyes and flavors, saccharin, aspartame, glycerin, propylene glycol, carrageenan, and diethanolamine (DEA).
How to Safely Use Natural Toothpaste for Kids
In addition to avoiding traditional toothpaste that might include some of these dangerous ingredients, there are a few other ways you can support a little one’s early oral hygiene practices:
- As soon as teeth begin to emerge in a young mouth, it’s important to start brushing. Brushing a baby’s (0-2 years) teeth twice a day using a safe, natural toothpaste and appropriate toothbrush is recommended.
- Once a child approaches the age of three, you might consider moving from a baby to a toddler or child-friendly toothpaste. Still, it’s recommended to support your little one by brushing their teeth for them.
- Between ages 3-6, a child will begin to develop the skills to spit better and reduce the risk of swallowing toothpaste. Now, you can supervise them as they brush. Consider avoiding toothpaste with strong minty flavors.
Support Young Mouths with Terra & Co.
In addition to supporting a child’s oral care routine now, consider their future needs. By opting for sustainable, natural, and organic oral care products—like our Brilliant Black Toothpaste, not only are you supporting young teeth with clean, non-toxic ingredients, but you’re also helping to support a healthy future for our planet.
In fact, marrying these two worlds is part of our story. While Amra was pregnant, she learned about all the dangerous chemicals that can make their way to a developing fetus. So, our first priority was to design oral care products that would be free from dangerous chemicals. Secondly, we wanted each product to support Mother Earth.
This is why all of our oral care products have been designed to have a minimal impact on the planet and maximum positive impact on pearly whites. Between recyclable and biodegradable packaging and non-toxic and Ayurveda-inspired ingredients, our products are designed for the entire family—as well as their future.