Pick the Best Toothpaste for Your Baby: 5 Non-Toxic Options
Why do babies need special toothpaste?
Babies and toddlers should not use regular toothpaste.
Children don’t develop the ability to spit until around age three, meaning they ingest whatever chemicals are in the toothpaste.
Many adult toothpaste brands, and unfortunately, some kids’ toothpaste, including the ones branded as “all-natural,” contain ingredients that are actually harmful to oral health. That’s why I don’t suggest buying the first child’s Crest toothpaste you see at the drugstore.
This shady toothpaste marketing can make it difficult to know that what you’re using to brush your little ones’ teeth is totally safe.
So, is toothpaste safe for babies?
It can be! While there are a few ingredients to avoid in baby’s toothpaste, there are plenty of safe, natural toothpastes for kids. The best baby toothpaste won’t use fluoride, SLS, or most essential oils.
Ingredients to Avoid in Toothpaste for Kids
Whatever toothpaste you decide on for your toddler, make sure it’s fluoride-free.
Is fluoride bad for you?
For children, it definitely is.
Many people think that fluoride toothpaste is necessary to prevent cavities. However, there are other ways to accomplish this that don’t carry the risk of a neurotoxin and fluorosis.
When fluoride is swallowed, it is toxic. And even if your baby or toddler is exposed to small doses, there’s evidence that it is toxic to the developing human brain.
If you and your dentist do decide to give your child fluoride, I recommend you keep track of where your child is getting fluoride and how much.
Fluoride exists in not just tap water, but also bottled water, fish and seafood, cereals, infant formula, and even teflon pans. The stuff is everywhere, and I have seen multiple cases of fluorosis in children even when using Toothpaste for Your Baby without fluoride.
A very common ingredient in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), also sometimes listed as sodium laureth sulphate. This is a strong detergent that has demonstrated in several studies to increase canker sore outbreaks.
There’s really no reason to expose a baby’s delicate and developing oral environment to harsh detergents like SLS. Plus, all my recommendations below are SLS free Toothpaste for Your Baby.
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils are commonly found in “all-natural” Toothpaste for Your Babys as an antibacterial agent.
The problem? Most essential oils are antibacterial, and babies actually need to build their oral microbiome to prevent cavities, not kill it off.
If you decide to DIY your child’s toothpaste, leave out the essential oils. You may also want to use one that’s not bactericidal, such as anise (which you’ll find in my Kid’s DIY Toothpaste recipe).