Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Training toothpaste is utilized to desensitize a baby to toothbrushing. What does “desensitize” mean? Basically, get them used to the process that they’ll be implementing for the next 100-ish years.
This can be a bonding experience for the child and parent, a key stepping-stone to great oral hygiene habits and a pivotal determinant of an individual's attitude toward oral health.
Training toothpaste does not contain fluoride. This is for protective measures to inhibit any medical issues should the baby swallow the toothpaste. It’s a training method to use until the child is deliberate and confident with spitting. Too much of a good thing is also bad and too much fluoride is not safe for babies or young children. Training toothpastes do not contain abrasives either.
You can utilize a finger toothbrush or just rub a little bit with a clean finger onto the gums. Let the child get used to the oral hygiene process. For example, you can slowly integrate it into the nighttime routine.
Once a child’s first tooth appears, it is time to utilize a fluoridated toothpaste. If a child is good about spitting out before this, a fluoridated toothpaste is a ok too. Utilize a smear (tap brush bristles onto toothpaste cap) sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste up to age 3. Utilize a pea-sized amount for children 3 to 6 years of age.
Take advantage of the developmental stages and make your child’s first oral health experiences positive. Also remember to visit your dentist by the time the child is 1 years old.
It should be noted that there is not a significant amount of research to understand the positive impacts of training toothpaste. For instance, a finger into water and simulating the act of brushing teeth may be sufficient to desensitize a newborn to the process. It is important to make sure children do not ingest too much fluoride, that is why this can be a great mechanosensory tool to train them to brush and spit. More research is needed. Speak to your dentist about your options.