Is fluoride safe for toddlers? Many parents have this and similar questions on their mind when thinking about their children’s oral health. But there’s no straight answer to the question about fluoride. The answer to whether fluoride toothpaste is safe for toddlers depends on several factors.
The American Dental Association recommends using a smear of fluoride toothpaste as soon as baby teeth begin to show. This recommendation came in 2014 after years of telling parents to always wait until kids reach 2 years old before using fluoride toothpaste.
So what changed?
The change was made after research by the Centers for Disease Control discovered a high prevalence of cavities in preschool children. The ADA had to change its position, falling in line with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, which has always recommended the use of fluoride toothpaste for kids once the teeth start to show.
Finding the Safe Spot for Your Kids
Fluoride ingestion has been linked to ADHD and some other neurological conditions in certain cases. The key, however, is to find a balance between using enough fluoride for your kids to help reduce the risk of cavities and ensuring the fluoride intake is not so much as to cause fluorosis. This can involve looking at your child’s drinking water, diet and other places where they may be getting fluoride already. You can also talk to your dentist to help you make informed decisions about using fluoride for your child.
Using Fluoride Safely with Toddlers
The ADA recommends having toddlers spit out the fluoride toothpaste after brushing to reduce their fluoride exposure. Maintaining this habit with little ones, however, can be quite tricky. While kids may not be at significant risk when they swallow fluoride toothpaste here and there, allowing this habit to go on can pose a risk over time.
Little ones should start seeing a dentist regularly as soon as their first teeth emerge or they reach 1 year old. Want to make an appointment? Call the Dream Smile team today at 425-366-8296.