As a parent, you are always making sure your kids get the very best. So when it comes to keeping your child’s teeth clean, is homemade toothpaste or fluoride toothpaste the best option? You may have heard opinions of the good and bad of both.
Homemade toothpaste is popular with many people because they feel it cleans well. Other people avoid homemade toothpaste because it doesn’t strengthen the enamel, which can cause future dental problems. There is a lot of media misinformation about fluoride, which creates confusion for you as a parent!
At the Redwood Pediatric Dentistry, we are here to clear up the confusion and make it easy for you to give your child the best oral health. Let’s set the record straight and give you the information you need to make the best decision about the toothpaste your child should use.
Why Your Child Needs Fluoride
In short, fluoride is a modern miracle for your child’s teeth. It strengthens the enamel of the teeth, reverses early cavities, removes plaque, and fights against the early stages of tooth decay.
A Look Inside Fluoride Toothpaste
Below are some of the ingredients found in ADA-approved toothpaste. As you can see, there is really no substitute for fluoride toothpaste:
• Mild abrasives – these abrasives include phosphate salts, silicates, calcium carbonate and other ingredients that help scrub the surface of the teeth.
• Fluoride – this popular ingredient is used to reverse gum disease and tooth decay.
• Humectants – glycerol, glycol and sorbitol are used to prevent water loss in toothpaste.
Just like these three essential ingredients, there are many others within fluoride toothpaste that help oral health. For example, there are ingredients designed to give toothpaste flavor, and other ingredients that enhance the bubbling action when you scrub.
To make sure the toothpaste you buy includes all of the important ingredients that we have told you about, always check for the ADA symbol. This symbol ensures that the toothpaste contains fluoride and that it has passed a number of requirements issued by the ADA.
That ADA seal on the toothpaste bottle doesn’t only ensure good ingredients. It also tells you that you can be confident that the product is safe for your child to use. The ADA ensures that good procedure is followed. If it’s not prepared and packaged safely, the toothpaste will not be distributed.
What About Homemade Toothpastes?
From coconut oil to baking soda, a lot of people make homemade toothpastes for their kids because they want all-natural ingredients. Overall, ingredients used in homemade toothpastes do provide some small benefits.
Using toothpaste with coconut oil can help control the amount of bacteria in the mouth that leads to plaque and gum disease. Other homemade toothpastes contain mineral drops that help heal sores and provide essential nutrients the body needs. The problem, however, is that these drops rarely get through the foods your child eats and drinks.
Baking soda is another common ingredient in homemade toothpaste. It is beneficial because of its strong alkalinity source, which neutralizes the acid in the mouth. However, using straight baking soda on the teeth is very abrasive on the enamel and can weaken your child’s overall oral health.
So What’s the Best Option?
What you as a parent need to know is that there is not enough evidence in professional studies to show homemade toothpaste is better than fluoride toothpaste. While it is tempting to consider coconut oil or baking soda because of the health benefits, these products fail to protect your child’s enamel the way that fluoride does.
Make sure you consider these options when you are deciding how to meet the needs of your child. Remember that the most effective way to enhance your child’s smile, prevent cavities, and avoid gum disease is to brush and floss every day. We are here to help you know the best ways you can take care of your child’s oral health.
In fact, we can help you know those ways today! Call our dental office at (801) 281-8881 to book your cleaning and examination. You can also schedule an appointment here through our website and get your child’s oral health in tip-top shape.