1---1          

Dentaly.org is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

 

Best Kids’ Toothpaste: Read About Natural, Fluoride, and Fluoride-Free

0 Shares
Contributors:   &

Looking for the best toothpaste for kids and babies in the US? Here, we’ll give you the information you need to choose the best toothpaste for kids and babies in the US, plus we have some product recommendations.

organic toothpaste  for kids
Children may need different types of toothpaste as they grow up

With lots of things you want to get right, we're here to help. In this article, we'll cover:

  • What makes the best children's toothpaste
  • The difference between baby toothpaste and adult toothpaste
  • Whether you should use fluoride-free toothpaste for babies
  • The best toothpastes for kids and babies of all ages
  • Your options for organic and natural toothpaste for kids

Getting your kids' dental routine right from the start is important for their overall oral hygiene. We have another article about choosing the best toothbrush for your child and a detailed guide on how to prevent tooth decay, which you might also find useful. But for now, let's look at kids' toothpaste!

How to choose the best toothpaste for children: with or without fluoride?

There are a few different things to consider when buying toothpaste for babies and kids. One of the most important questions you might have is whether you should use a fluoride-free toothpaste for kids.

kids fluoride toothpaste
The best kids' toothpaste may contain fluoride that will strengthen their teeth

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that is present in water, soil, and the air. It has many benefits for your teeth, such as:

  • Preventing cavities
  • Strengthening tooth enamel
  • Reversing early stages of tooth decay
  • Limiting plaque bacteria in the mouth
  • Slowing mineral loss in tooth enamel

The American Dental Association (ADA), as well as the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, both recommend using fluoride kids and baby toothpastes

Of course, your baby will probably end up swallowing a lot of the toothpaste in their mouth. To ensure that they don't swallow a harmful amount, the ADA recommends using a smear of fluoride toothpaste for your baby; no larger than a grain of rice for children under three years of age. Have a look at the table below for a summary of recommended toothpaste amounts based on age.

Age Amount to use
Children under 3 A smear (size of a grain of rice)
Children 3-6 A pea-sized amount
Children over 6 and adults A pea-sized amount

As well as being recommended by the ADA, these amounts have been proven safe by a scientific study that looked at the data from lots of other studies.

That said, children swallowing toothpaste with fluoride should be avoided. While occasionally swallowing a small amount while brushing teeth is unlikely to cause any harm, regularly consuming high volumes of fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis, where the teeth develop white spots or become discolored. 

Supervise brushing until your child is old enough to be able to brush all their teeth correctly and spit out all the toothpaste—usually around age 6 or 7.

If children ingest a larger amount of fluoride toothpaste, for example if they deliberately eat it from the tube, they might experience an upset stomach. Speak to your doctor or call 911 if you think it's an emergency.

What about baby toothpaste with fluoride?

It's natural to be concerned about your young baby swallowing baby toothpaste, whether it contains fluoride or not. Most children develop their spit reflex around the age of three years old, so your baby won't be able to brush their teeth like you quite yet.

Minimize the risk by only using a smear of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, when you first start brushing your baby's teeth. Parents who are really concerned about controlling how much fluoride their child swallows can opt for fluoride-free toothpaste. We'll give you some options for fluoride-free baby toothpaste further down.

The video below has some good advice for brushing your baby or toddler's teeth—straight from the dentist's mouth!

Good oral care for an infant starts before his/her first tooth erupts. Here's a quick outline of the video: -Start wiping your baby’s gums within a few weeks of them being born -There are sugars (carbohydrates) in all types of food including breast, milk, formula, and baby food -Use a wet wash cloth, gauze, or oral wipes when they are infants -Xylitol, an ingredient found in some wipes, can knock down harmful bacteria -Wiping the gums, removes plaque to create a healthy mouth even before your child has teeth -Infant toothbrushes can be used at an early age -Training toothpaste adds a little flavor to keep kids interested -When your child’s teeth start to erupt, start to use fluoride toothpaste, applying an amount that’s about the size of a grain of rice -Brush the gums/teeth at least twice a day -The most important time to brush is before bed http://www.dentalsurvivalguide.com

Is the best toothpaste for kids different than adult toothpaste?

baby toothpaste without fluoride
Babies and children may require special toothpastes

One of the key differences between toothpaste for kids and adults is the fluoride content. Aside from that, adult toothpaste might also be more abrasive and have stronger flavors.

Lots of adults use whitening toothpastes, however using whitening toothpaste for kids isn't a good idea. These types of toothpaste are rougher on the teeth and could damage children's teeth because their enamel is thinner.

If your child has stained teeth, assess their diet for strongly colored foods and speak with their dentist if you're concerned. Any whitening treatments should only be carried out once your child has a full mouth of adult teeth.

What are the best baby toothpastes (0-2 years)?

As soon as your little one's first teeth appear, it's important to brush them twice a day to protect against decay. However, it can be hard to know which is the best baby toothpaste. The ADA now recommends that you use fluoride toothpaste with your baby as well as older children, (albeit a very small amount). Even so, you'll be hard-pressed to find a baby toothpaste with fluoride. For parents choosing to use fluoride toothpaste with their babies, the best toothpaste for their baby will most likely be a children's fluoride toothpaste.

If you are interested in a baby toothpaste, there are certain things to look for in a toothpaste for babies under 2 years, and below we've picked out some of the best baby toothpaste options to make that choice easier for you.

Natural baby toothpaste

best organic baby toothpaste
Maybe organic baby toothpaste is the best baby toothpaste for your child

Radius makes an organic baby toothpaste without fluoride. Their formulation is non-toxic so there shouldn't be any concerns if your baby has a habit of swallowing while you help them brush their teeth. Plus, the coconut-banana flavor in this organic baby toothpaste is great for little ones who don't like mint.

One happy parent commented in her Amazon review:

“I will use only this toothpaste for my son! Clean and amazing ingredients! “

This toothpaste is suitable for babies and children of all ages so there's no need to switch once they reach 3 years old.

Tom's baby toothpaste

nonfluoride toothpaste for kids
This natural toothpaste for kids and babies has a mild fruit flavor

Tom's baby toothpaste is fluoride-free and specially formulated for babies and toddlers 3 to 24 months old, and is safe if swallowed. It has a no-mess top and a delightful mild fruit flavor. Your children can practice brushing with this toothpaste so they can develop long-lasting oral hygiene habits. 

Weleda baby toothpaste

natural toothpaste for kids
Weleda makes one of the best natural toothpastes for kids and babies

Weleda is a Swiss company that makes plant-based health and wellbeing products. Their fluoride-free toothpaste for babies and kids has a natural fresh flavor and all non-toxic ingredients, so it shouldn't be anything to worry about if your baby swallows it.

The packaging may not be particularly child-friendly, but plenty of people say this is their favorite natural kids' toothpaste.

What's the best toothpaste for kids aged 3-6?

As your child gets older, they should be able to spit better and the chances of them swallowing toothpaste will reduce. You'll also want to consider switching from a fluoride-free toothpaste for kids to one that contains fluoride. However, at this age, you should still supervise them as they brush and help them learn how to brush thoroughly.

They might not like the minty flavors you're used to with your toothpaste, so we've included some non-mint children's toothpaste options here too.

Colgate kids' toothpaste

children's toothpaste
The best kids' toothpaste might depend on what flavor your child prefers

Colgate Kids Cavity Protection Toothpaste is a fluoride toothpaste for kids that has a fruity, bubble gum flavor—great for kids who aren't into minty tastes.

A more premium Colgate children's toothpaste with fluoride is their liquid gel toothpastes. These kids' fluoride toothpastes contain .24% (1100 ppm) fluoride to protect against cavities. The strawberry and watermelon flavors with bright and funky packaging should also help make brushing fun. 

Tom's kids' toothpaste

Tom's toothpaste for kids
Tom's toothpaste for kids is a popular natural kids' toothpaste with fluoride

Tom's of Maine makes a natural toothpaste for kids. It has .13% w/v fluoride to protect your child's teeth from cavities. This Tom's children's toothpaste is also ADA approved, has a fruity strawberry flavor and contains no artificial colors or flavors. 

Tom's of Maine children's toothpastes come in other flavors as well such as orange-mango and wicked cool

Crest kids' toothpaste

fluoride toothpaste for kids
The best toothpaste for kids will have cavity protection

Yet more non-mint children's toothpaste with fluoride options are available, with this Crest kid's cavity protection toothpaste that tastes like bubble gum, and is meant for children 2 and up. 

This kids' crest toothpaste has .24% fluoride (1118 ppm) but with none of the spicy fluoride taste.

Coral kids' toothpaste

For the socially-conscious consumer, who is also looking for a children's toothpaste without fluoride, Coral White kids' toothpaste may be just the ticket. This toothpaste is nothing short of innovative, as it actually uses coral calcium from coral, offering 74 natural minerals that promote an alkaline environment to kill bacteria, and strengthen your child's teeth and body. 

natural toothpaste for kids
Try this socially-conscious, natural toothpaste for kids

But wait! You're probably wondering if the ocean is harmed when the coral is harvested. 

Don't worry! You'll be happy to know that the makers of Coral White use above-sea fossilized coral beds to harvest their coral calcium. 

What's more, this toothpaste employs xylitol as a natural sweetener, which helps keep a neutral pH level in the mouth and repairs enamel. 

This toothpaste also includes the herbal extracts of:

  • Echinacea
  • American ginseng
  • Ginkgo
  • Golden Seal Root

These extracts have antibacterial properties that serve as a natural way to fight periodontal disease. 

And it's made in America! What more could you ask for? In fact, you may even start sharing this toothpaste with your children, as demonstrated by one reviewer:

“This toothpaste is awesome. Our whole family uses this brand now, and we have all had improvements to the whiteness of our teeth, sensitivity, and my husband swears a small cavity he had is healing.”

Just a little disclaimer though—if you think you have a cavity, you should go see your dentist.

The best kids' toothpaste for ages 7 and up

Once your child is seven years old, they should have developed full control over their reflex to swallow (as well as the motor skills to brush correctly) and at this point you should be able to leave them to brush their teeth on their own. And again, if you haven't been using a fluoride toothpaste for kids, you may want to think about starting. While it is fine for them to use a pea-sized amount of adult toothpaste at this age, they may still prefer a more child-friendly option.

Firefly natural toothpaste for kids

The Firefly natural kids' toothpaste is new to the market of kids' natural toothpaste, but already a parent and child favorite. This toothpaste covers the basics with 0.24% fluoride for fighting against cavities, but then it goes a step further, with 98% naturally derived ingredients.

natural children's toothpaste
This kids' natural toothpaste comes with a toy

There are no artificial sweeteners, no artificial flavors, and no dyes, making this not only a contender for the best toothpaste for kids, but also for best natural toothpaste for kids. It's actually suitable for children aged 3+, but we've included it here because of its definite appeal to older kids, too.

This toothpaste comes with kids' favorite characters on the outside, and Bubble Blast, Strawberry Smoothie or Wild Watermelon flavors on the inside. And the best part? There's a mystery toy hidden under the lid of each one!

Crest kids toothpaste

Best kids' fluoride toothpaste
This kids' fluoride toothpaste tastes like strawberries

Another fluoride kids toothpaste without a minty flavor is this Crest Kids Toothpaste. It tastes of strawberries, making a popular choice among kids – as well as parents who want a toothpaste that will help prevent cavities in their children.

The packaging isn't so child-friendly, but would suit older children who have grown out of wanting cartoons on everything.

Radius organic kids' toothpaste

organic kids toothpaste
An organic toothpaste for kids that tastes like dragonfruit

Alternatively, if you are intent on an organic toothpaste for kids, you may want to try this organic kids' toothpaste by Radius. It tastes like dragon fruit and is made in the USA.

This new gel formula is USDA Certified Organic, and contains no chemicals or additives. It does contain neem, which is a natural herb used in holistic dentistry to prevent cavities. Adults looking for an organic option with a great taste are welcome to use it too!

Can I Get a Kids' Toothpaste Dispenser?

Once you've got a brightly colored brush and a tasty kids' flavored toothpaste, you should be well on your way to getting your children excited about their oral hygiene. To add the finishing touch, you can consider a kids' toothpaste dispenser.

toothpaste Dispenser for kids
The best toothpaste for kids is even better with a dispenser

This toothpaste dispenser is really practical for your kids and the rest of the family. It has:

  • Space for two different toothpastes—great if your kids like different flavors than you
  • Four cups for water and gargling
  • Storage for five brushes—plenty of space for all the family

One Amazon reviewer says:

“We love this product! This has freed up SO much room on my counter top! My 5 year old is easily able to get her toothbrush and put toothpaste on with no mess left behind unlike before when she had to hold the tube herself and apply the toothpaste!”

Conclusion

best kids toothpaste
It's important to find the best kids' toothpaste for your child's oral health

Every parent wants the best for their child's teeth, and choosing the best children's toothpaste for your little one is important. Although it's perfectly understandable that you'll want to investigate fluoride-free toothpaste for your kids, scientists and dentists agree that fluoride is beneficial to teeth and shouldn't cause any harm if used correctly.

Make sure that you help your children use their toothpaste properly until they're old enough to look after their teeth themselves. By choosing flavors that they like, you will keep them wanting to brush, and by picking the right fluoride levels you'll make sure they protect themselves from cavities while waiting for their adult teeth to come through.

FAQs

Can adults use kids' toothpaste?

Many adults wonder if they can use kids' toothpaste, usually because they are fed up with too much mint flavor. Well, whatever your reason, you can certainly use kids' toothpaste. Just make sure that it has between 0.22% (1000 ppm) and 0.312% (1450 ppm) fluoride.

Can you buy fluoride toothpaste for babies?

You may be wondering if you can buy fluoride toothpaste for babies since the ADA recommends that you use a small amount (grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste with babies as soon as their teeth erupt. There currently really aren't any toothpastes for babies under two years of age that contain fluoride on the market. So if you do want to use fluoride toothpaste for your baby, you can use a kids' toothpaste, like this popular one from Colgate. Before using toothpaste with fluoride, you should consult your child's doctor or dentist to make sure that it's ok. 

When should you start using toothpaste for your baby?

Many in the professional community are saying that you should start gently brushing your child's gums with an extra-soft baby toothbrush before their first teeth erupt. And once their first baby teeth erupt, it's a good idea to start using toothpaste. Whether you want to use fluoride toothpaste for your baby is up to you, although the ADA says that using a small, grain of rice-sized amount is a good idea.

What is the best toothpaste for 2-year-olds?

All toothpastes for young children will have gentle ingredients and a gentle flavor. Our favorites include Tom's natural toothpaste for toddlers and babies, Weleda fluoride-free toothpaste for babies, and Radius, which makes some of the best organic baby toothpaste.

Even though none of these kids' natural toothpaste options contain fluoride, many dentists don't recommend baby toothpaste without fluoride, because fluoride is so good for your teeth. As long as you only use only a tiny, rice-sized amount when brushing your child's teeth, it should be OK. But, there aren't many baby toothpastes available with fluoride, so you'd have to have a look at toothpaste for kids a bit older.

Rate this article

Contributors:
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen on LinkedinNatalie Asmussen on Website
Natalie used to work as a Community Health Worker and Health Insurance Navigator. She continues to follow her passion for connecting people with the healthcare they need by writing informative content about dentistry and medicine.
Amanda Napitu
Amanda Napitu
Natalie Asmussen on FacebookNatalie Asmussen on LinkedinNatalie Asmussen on Website
Amanda specialises in writing informative content about dentistry. She has been a regular contributor to Dentaly.org since 2017.
Sources
NHS: Fluoride. Consulted 28th November 2019. Healthline: Should You Be Worried About Fluoride Toothpaste? Consulted 28th November 2019. ADA: Oral Health Topics: Toothpaste. Consulted 28th November 2019. NCBI: Fluoride toothpaste efficacy and safety in children younger than 6 years: a systematic review. Consulted 28th November 2019. ScienceDirect: Sodium Fluoride. Consulted 28th November 2019.
0 Shares