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  5. when to start using toothpaste.

when to start using toothpaste. Lock Rss

My little boy is 16months old and I was just wondering when should I start using toothpaste to brush his teeth. At the moment we just use water on the toothbrush.
According to my dentist you dont need to introduce tooth paste until 2 years of age if they are drinking tap water (contains enough fluoride for teeth). After age of 2 introduce childrens tooth paste which is lower dose fluoride.

SA, 28mth & 1mth babies

I started using a child's toothpaste on my daughter as soon as she cut her first teeth at 4 months old. We don't have fluoridated water where we live, so I know she's not going to develop flurosis. She also has a couple of teeth that have no enamel on them, so needs a little bit extra care to try and keep those teeth healthy.

I guess if you're not wanting to use a toothpaste with any fluoride in it, you could see if your local health shop has a fluoride free alternative.

Water is a good start for brushing, but I find sometime that a toothpaste with a gentle abrasive helps keep the teeth a bit cleaner.

Rere, NZ, mum of three

Hi doubletrouble,
the only problem with that is that I live in brisbane and we don't have flouride in our water. I've been to the chemist to get drops but none of them near me have any in and can't tell me when they will get any.
Hi tinah,
I would probably suggest your child is a little too young for drops anyway. I work in a dental surgery and we don't recommend them until about 5 years of age. (Although you will find some dentists do recommend them much earlier but this is only the opinion of the dentist I work for). The fact we don't have fluoride in the water in Qld does cause a problem though. We shouldn't really give children toothpaste with fluoride in it until they know how to spit it out because if they swallow too much it can upset their tummy. In saying this, I will put a very small amount (about the size of a quarter of a pea or less) on my 14 month old son's toothbrush when I brush his teeth of a night and just use water when I brush them of a morning. I use "My first colgate" which is low in fluoride. McLeans "milk teeth" is also good. I don't think ingesting this much toothpaste every day would cause much of a problem.
I believe there is a shortage of fluoride drops/tablets available to buy at the moment which is why the council (at least here on the Gold Coast) doesn't supply them free of charge to rate payers anymore. That was their excuse anyway!
Hope I have helped in some way.

My babies are all grown up sad

Can I ask which area in Brisbane do you live in please? I live in Stretton- southside of Brisbane. I am not sure whether we have flouride in our water or not. How can I find out?

By the way, I am using toothpaste on my 15 months old baby already.

Lucy, mum to Stephanie-12/11/03

Hi stephaniesmum,

I livee in manly, as far as I know all of Queensland has no flouride in the water. There has been things on the news lately about us being the only state without it, I don't know why.

I gave my son a little bit of toothpaste last night for the first time and he hated it, oh well, I guess i'll just keep trying.

Hi TinaH,

It seems we live in the wrong's weird that we're the only state without flouride in the water?!

Well, I think your son will get used to the toothpaste later. I only use a smear (in fact just a touch) of toothpaste once a day after her bath time. She seems ok with it now and enjoy holding the toothbrush herself. I don't think she does her 'brushing' properly, but that's the way it is, she needs to get used to it. Before I was able to brush for her but now she wants to do everything herself. Well, at least brushing is becoming a habit.

Lucy, mum to Stephanie-12/11/03

hi stephanies mum,
It is great brushing is becoming a habit but most parents don't realise they should brush their children's teeth until they are 8-10 years old! Your child should do it themselves first and then you should brush them too as children don't have the coordination to do it properly until they are around 8-10. If you get in to this habit also, they will be more likely to let you do it in future.

My babies are all grown up sad

Hi Naomi,

I know that we should brush our babies teeth until they have full coordination. But my problem is my daughter wouldn't let me brush them properly for her. I can only brush for maybe 5 seconds, then she would take it away from me and if I try to take it back, she would get very frustrated and screams and you know what's it like when a baby won't settle. It would make me exhausted just fighting with her everyday. I'd love to hear any ideas which would help me to brush my baby's teeth.


Lucy, mum to Stephanie-12/11/03

I would love to hear some ideas as well because I cannot even get the brush inside his mouth. I can't believe how strong they are for such a little thing.
I have 16 month old twins and they brush their teeth while they're in the bath. I have just started using the 'milk teeth' toothpaste. I used to brush them for them and tell them how nice they're teeth are!!!! Now I brush 1st and then they do. I encorporated into a game with lots of praise!!!!!
Good luck, Sue

Susan twinmum boy/girl Oct 2003

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