Why probiotic and fluoride-free toothpaste is beneficial for little teeth

It’s never too early to start getting your toddler into a good oral hygiene routine. You can start young by wiping over your baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth each day, but once that first little adorable tooth appears, it’s time to start using a toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent cavities.

Some toothpastes aren’t suitable for children under 18 months, and some can be used from 6 months so it’s important to read the label.

With so many toothpastes on the market aimed at little ones, you might be wondering which one is best for your child’s oral health. You’ll also be wanting to know if it’s safe to ingest. Since babies/toddlers are unable to spit it out, swallowing toothpaste is inevitable.

We answer all of your concerns here, including why it’s best to opt for brands that are fluoride-free, the importance of using a toothpaste that contains probiotics, plus the ingredients to look for and what to avoid.

Why is fluoride-free toothpaste important for little teeth?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water sources and many of the foods we eat. The drinking water in Australia has optimum levels of fluoride added for the purpose of promoting dental health by helping to prevent tooth damage and decay.

So, if fluoride is in our water, food, and in adult toothpastes, why is it a concern when used in toothpaste for little teeth?

When babies accidentally ingest too much toothpaste containing added fluoride in addition to the fluoride found in their food and water, they can develop fluorosis, which can cause the teeth to feel rough and develop brown or white spots.

Until they learn to properly spit out the toothpaste, which is usually around 2-3 years of age, it is recommended that they use a fluoride-free toothpaste right up until they have their permanent teeth.

Why is toothpaste enriched with probiotics important for little teeth?

The wonderful benefits of probiotics are well-known, and when a baby toothpaste is enriched with them, it can protect the mouth against bad bacteria.

How this works is the probiotic cells compete with the bacteria (named S. mutans) that causes tooth decay, and fights against it adhering to the tooth enamel.

Think of it as an extra layer of prevention against decay in your bub’s teeth, similar to fluoride, but without causing any potential issues (such as fluorosis).

What key ingredients should a baby toothpaste ideally contain?

Just like with anything that you feed your baby, you want to look for natural ingredients in a toothpaste, such as:

  • Xylitol: A natural sweetener found in fruit and vegetables. Research has shown it helps to reduce cavities and also reverse the process of early cavities.
  • Organic calendula: A natural oil extracted from marigolds, it has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, all of which help to calm and soothe sore gums.
  • Aloe vera: A plant containing compounds that actively cleanse, heal, and reduce tooth and gum pain through anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Natural flavours and colours: You may need to try a few different flavours before you find a toothpaste that your child will love. Some like fruity flavours, others prefer mint. Ensure that the ingredients are as close to 100% of natural origin as possible.

What ingredients should ideally be avoided in a baby toothpaste?

We sadly live in a world overwhelmed with harsh chemicals and nasties; from the foods we eat to the products we put on our skin.

If you can avoid as many toxins as possible for your little one during this critical window of growth and development, you’ll be setting them up for a lifetime of optimal health. Steer clear of the following in particular:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): A chemical foaming agent that’s used for cleaning.
  • Parabens: A group of chemicals used as artificial preservatives.
  • Mineral oil: A cheap petroleum by-product that has no place in any baby care products.
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