Choosing the best toothpaste for your child can be very confusing given the numerous choices at the supermarket.
Children should be supervised when brushing and should be encouraged to rinse and spit the toothpaste out after brushing. Low fluoride toothpastes are less effective at preventing cavities. When you are confident your child is rinsing and spitting the toothpaste out after brushing, it is advisable to change to the next age group range of toothpaste which will have more fluoride to better protect their teeth.
It has been shown that starting tooth brushing before the age of one year resulted in less tooth decay than starting after one year.
National guidelines recommend that for children up to the age of 17months, a parent should clean teeth but no toothpaste should be used.
From 18 months to 5 years, teeth should be cleaned twice daily with a toothpaste containing 500ppm fluoride for example Macleans Milk Teeth, Colgate My First Toothpaste or Dora Sparkling Mint.
From 6 years, teeth should be cleaned by a parent twice daily with a 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste such as Macleans Little Teeth or Colgate Spiderman
All children should be encouraged to spit and rinse the toothpaste out after brushing. A child at risk of tooth decay should use a higher concentration fluoride toothpaste provided parents are comfortable that they are spitting the majority of the toothpaste out and not swallowing it. For example, a child with a history of tooth decay who is able to spit out the toothpaste could use Macleans Big Teeth which has a fluoride concentration of 1350ppm fluoride
Adults can use fluoride toothpaste of 1350 to 1450 ppm which is found in many adult formulations.