Training toothpaste helps desensitize a baby to toothbrushing.
Brushing may be used as a bonding experience for the child and parent. It is a key stepping-stone to great oral hygiene habits. Its important to make oral hygiene habits a positive experience.
Training toothpaste does not contain fluoride. This is to prevent any medical issues if the baby swallow the toothpaste. This type of toothpaste is used until a child is deliberate and confident with spitting. While fluoride helps remineralize teeth, is not safe for babies. Amount of fluoride ingested needs to be monitored to get all the benefits without any side effects. Training toothpastes do not contain abrasives either.
You can put the toothpaste on a finger toothbrush or on a clean finger. Gently rub it along the gums. Let the child get used to the oral hygiene process and build a routine early.
Once a child’s first tooth appears - around 6 months - it is time to introduce a fluoridated toothpaste. If a child is good about spitting out before the first tooth, a fluoridated toothpaste may be introduced at that time.
Only use a smear (tap brush bristles onto toothpaste cap) sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste up to the age 3. Utilize a pea-sized amount for children between 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. They can catch early issues like crowding, tongue ties or abnormal soft tissue lesions.
It should be noted limited research exists that to support the positive impacts of training toothpaste. Some practitioners say it is not required at all.
If you don't want to buy training toothpaste, simply use your finger with some Luke warm water. Simulate the act of brushing teeth to help desensitize a baby to the brushing process.
But remember, training toothpaste can be a great mechanosensory tool. It helps a child learn how to brush and spit.
More research is needed. Speak to your dentist about your options.