Lambton Public Health

Toothpaste

This page was reviewed or revised on Friday, February 24, 2017 10:08 AM

Toothpaste is used with a toothbrush to clean teeth and maintain good oral health. Due to the varying needs of consumers, toothpaste is available in various forms with several different ingredients, to target many needs.

Regularly clean your child’s teeth as soon as they appear in the mouth. Use a small, soft toothbrush (it may be further softened by running it under warm water). Brushing should take 2 minutes.

Children less than 8 years of age lack the fine motor skills to brush their own teeth correctly. Parents should brush their teeth every time at least twice a day.

Do not swallow toothpaste. Children should spit out excess toothpaste after every brushing.

Health Canada states that there are no adverse health effects due to water fluoridation when at recommended levelsi. More information on community water fluoridation is available on the Lambton Public Health website.

Children 3 and under

Brush with a rice grain-sized dot of toothpaste or just clean water. Using fluoridated toothpaste at this age is determined by the level of risk of tooth decay. Consult with your medical or dental health professional if you wish to use fluoride toothpaste for very young childrenii.

Children older than age 8

Use a pea-sized amount (or smear) of fluoride toothpaste, twice every day.

Children form habits that last a lifetime. Children who are brushing twice a day for two minutes each time have a lower risk of developing tooth decay. "2 for 2" is what you do.

Dental Visits

Child oral health specialists suggest that children visit the dentist by their first birthday to ensure they have good oral health habits and to check for problems. Regular oral health visits (at least yearly) should continue after that.

Contact Lambton Public Health if you are looking for more oral health information for your child.

Sources:

i https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/guidelines-canadian-drinking-water-quality-guideline-technical-document-fluoride.html
ii https://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/faqs/fluoride_faqs.asp