What ingredients should I avoid in baby toothpaste?

Baby toothpaste is slightly different from the traditional toothpaste that most children and adults use. Babies and toddlers don’t always know how to spit and traditional kinds of toothpaste contain ingredients that aren’t intended for consumption.

Most baby toothpastes are designed to be safe when swallowed. Keep in mind that you might see conflicting information with some experts still recommending that parents avoid toothpaste with fluoride for infants and toddlers.

Still, there are some ingredients that you’ll want to avoid, namely sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), essential oils, and harsh abrasive ingredients. SLS is a detergent that has been shown Trusted Source to cause canker sores.

Meanwhile, essential oils are often added to toothpaste and promoted as all-natural because of their natural antimicrobial properties. But babies are still developing their oral microbiome. So, essential oil ingredients can inhibit that production.

And finally, abrasive ingredients normally found in toothpaste geared toward adults for whitening should be completely avoided. These ingredients can damage the enamel on your child’s teeth.

What to look for in baby toothpaste

So, what should you prioritize as you shop for baby toothpaste? Part of this answer is going to depend on whether you want to follow AAP or ADA recommendations. If you do, then toothpaste with fluoride is going to be a priority.

But, many baby toothpastes are fluoride-free. So, if you’re concerned about that, speak with your pediatrician or dentist about whether fluoride is necessary. Outside of fluoride, consider the following factors:

ADA seal of approval

The ADA seal helps to give you peace of mind that you’re picking a toothpaste that’s been approved by one of the foremost dental organizations in the United States and is safe for your baby’s dental care.

Safe to swallow

Like we mentioned, babies haven’t learned how to purposely spit. So, you need toothpaste that’s safe if swallowed. Most baby toothpastes are designed with this feature as a priority.

Flavor

As compared to adult toothpaste, you’ll find that mint flavoring isn’t common in baby toothpaste. This is because babies tend to like gentler flavor profiles and may find stronger flavors like mint too intense. Typically baby toothpaste is designed to taste like fruits.

How we chose our favorite baby toothpaste

Picking baby toothpaste doesn’t have to tax your brain too much, but it may require a bit of trial and error depending on the flavor and whether your baby likes it or not.

To create our short list, we focused on whether a brand contained fluoride, flavor, if they were ADA approved, and of course reviews from real parents.

A note on price

The toothpastes below are sold in different sized tubes, and some come in multi-packs while others are sold with toothbrushes. Price per tube ranges from about $3 to $9, at time of publication.

Healthline Parenthood’s picks for the best toothpaste for baby

1. Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste

Ingredients: Xylitol, Purified Water, Vegetable Glycerin (Coconut derived), Silica, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate (Naturally derived), Citric Acid

Flavors: Unflavored is my first choice, but, hey, if you need a little flavor to motivate your kid, go right ahead!

2. Hello Toddler Training Toothpaste

Ingredients: vegetable glycerin, sorbitol, purified water, aloe vera gel, hydrated silica, xylitol, erythritol, xanthan gum, flavor, calcium glycerophosphate (mineral), potassium sorbate and stevia rebaudiana leaf extract (sweetener).

Flavors: Organic Apple, Bubble Gum, Blue Raspberry, Natural Watermelon, Wild Strawberry

3. Dr. Brown’s natural baby toothpaste

Ingredients: Glycerin, Aqua (Water), Xylitol, Propanediol, Sorbitol, Pectin, Xanthum Gum, Silica, Sorbic Acid, Aroma (Flavor), Calcium Lactate

Flavors: Real Pear or Real Apple

4. Babyganics Fluoride Free Toothpaste, Strawberry

Ingredients: Purified Water, Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Xylitol, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Flavor, Potassium Sorbate, Stevia

Flavors: Strawberry and Watermelon

5. Earth’s Best

Ingredients: Glycerin, aqua (water), xylitol, panthenol, cellulose gum, avena sativa (oat) bran, beta-glucan, calcium lactate, flavor.

Flavors: Apple & Pear

6. RiseWell

Concerned about cavities? RiseWell uses hydroxyapatite, which makes up a huge percentage of natural tooth structure, to support remineralization. Plus, it’s non-toxic!

Ingredients: Silica, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Xylitol, Hydroxyapatite, Calcium Carbonate, Propanediol, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Potassium Cocoate, Stevia Rebaudiana Extract, Erythritol, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Cellulose Gum, Gluconate, Xanthan Gum

7:Radius Organic Coconut Banana Toothpaste

If your little one loves the taste of bananas, this pick from Radius is a great choice. The coconut banana-flavored toothpaste is USDA certified organic. There are no synthetic foaming agents, chemicals, or GMO-based ingredients, and it’s rated safe for children ages 6 months and older.

This BPA-free, dye-free, and gluten-free kids toothpaste is safe to swallow. Note that this is also a fluoride-free toothpaste.

8:Colgate My First Toothbrush and Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Set

Toothbrush sets are great for when you’re just starting to build a good dental care routine with your little one. This set from Colgate comes with a 1.75-ounce tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush with a smaller brush head.

The brush has extra soft bristles to gently reach all the nooks and crannies in your baby’s mouth. The infant and toddler toothpaste is designed with a mild fruit flavor that’s safe if swallowed. The toothpaste is fluoride-free and also free from SLS, preservatives, and artificial flavors.

9:Orajel Elmo Fluoride-Free Tooth & Gum Cleanser

Fluoride-free, so safe if swallowed when use as directed

Free of alcohol, parabens, aspartame, dyes, sugar, SLS, dairy, gluten

Combo pack with an Elmo toothbrush

Banana Apple flavor tastes great!

Does not contain artifical colors or dyes. This is specially design Toothpaste for 2 year Old.

Directions: Wash Hands. Apply A Small Amount Of Baby Orajel Tooth And Gum Cleanser To The Toothbrush. Gently Brush Your Child’S Teeth And Gums. For Best Results, Use In The Morning And At Bedtime. The Baby Toothbrush Is The Perfect Size For Little Mouths And Has Extra Soft Bristles. It May Be Sanitized By Pouring Boiling Water Over Brush. All Toothbrushes Should Be Replaced Every 3-4 Months. Use Toothbrush With Adult Supervision. Use For Toothbrusing Only. Do Not Chew.

Ingredients: Water, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cellulose Gum, Poloxamer 407, Flavor, Simethicone, Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Saccharin, Propylparaben, Citric Acid.

Safety Warning: Keep Out Of Reach Of Children. Do Not Use If Outer Blister On Card Is Torn Or Cut Before First Use.

10:Orajel Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Fluoride-Free Training Toothpaste & Toothbrush Combo Pack

Fluoride-free, safe if swallowed when used as directed

Free of alcohol, parabens, aspartame, dyes, sugar, SLS, dairy, gluten

Combo pack with a Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Toothbrush

Fruity Stripes flavor tastes great!

Does not contain artifical colors or dyes

11:Colgate Kids Toothpaste with Anticavity Fluoride Featuring Minions

Fluoride toothpaste for kids that is clinically proven to fight cavities and strengthen teeth

Nice and gentle on tooth enamel specially designed for kids ages 2 and up

Mild Bubble Fruit flavor encourages regular brushing

Packaging and toothpaste tubes feature some of your child’s favorite Minions characters

Green colored gel toothpaste; & sugar free, and gluten free kids toothpaste formula

Flat top helps the tube stand upright for a mess-free brushing routine and easier storage

Pack of 4 toothpaste tubes with 4.6 ounces in each; a total of 18.4 ounces

12:Colgate Kids Toothpaste Gel with Fluoride Twin Pack and Battery Powered Toothbrush Set

Features Ryan’s World characters like Gator Gus and Combo Panda to make brushing fun

Anticavity kids toothpaste with fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and fight cavities. This is specially design Toothpaste for 2 year Old.

Bubble fruit toothpaste flavor in a blue gel that kids will love that helps to freshen breath; sugar free, gluten free toothpaste

Kids battery powered toothbrush features a small spinning head with extra soft bristles that gently clean little teeth

For kids ages 3+

Contains 2 kids toothpaste tubes with 4.6 ounces in each, 1 kids battery toothbrush, and 2 AAA batteries