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:Orajel Fluoride-Free Training Toothpaste

The Orajel toothpaste is designed with tiny tots in mind. It’s intended for children as young as 4 months up through 48 months or 4 years old. It’s free from alcohol, SLS, parabens, aspartame, dyes, and sugar. Parents say their little ones like the berry flavor and it’s also safe to swallow.

2:Dr. Brown’s Infant-to-Toddler Toothbrush Set

This two-in-one solution comes with a baby-friendly giraffe shaped toothbrush that’s a great size for banishing plaque from little mouths. This toothpaste is another fluoride-free option but is designed for children from newborn to 3 years old.

Dr. Brown’s toothpaste is also safe to swallow and is made with a strawberry flavor that’s free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

3: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 Toothpaste for 3 year Old 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.

4:Hello Oral Care Fluoride Free Kids Toothpaste

Babies prefer sweet flavors, so this watermelon toothpaste may be quite the crowd-pleaser. This is another safe-to-swallow solution that’s free from harsh ingredients like SLS, parabens, gluten, dyes, and even artificial sweeteners. This is Beneficial Toothpaste for 3 year Old.

If you’re concerned about ethical production, you’ll appreciate that Hello is a Leaping Bunny certified brand. Also, note that this toothpaste is vegan-friendly and the packaging is BPA-free.

5: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.

6:Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste

This two-pack of organic toothpaste is a great way to stay stocked up on oral care supplies. You’ll like that this toothpaste is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, SLS-free, and is certified cruelty-free as well. Note that this is another fluoride-free option.

The safe-to-swallow toothpaste comes in two different flavors — banana and raspberry. This pick has xylitol and calendula, which the brand claims have been added to help reduce the risk of cavities while also soothing gums and fighting tooth decay.

7:Tom’s of Maine Toddler Training Toothpaste

If you have a baby that balks at toothpaste with a paste-like texture, this softer gel formula from Tom’s of Maine might be a great alternative. This is specially design Toothpaste for 3 year Old.

This is another fluoride-free baby toothpaste that’s safe to swallow. The mild fruit flavor is free from artificial colors, flavors, fragrances, or preservatives. This toothpaste is formulated for babies from 3 months to 2 years old.

8:Crest & Oral-B Baby Toothbrush and Toothbrush Training Kit

A mild strawberry toothpaste flavor combines with a complete oral care kit so that you can take the guesswork out of finding the right toothbrush for your little one. This is specially design Toothpaste for 3 year Old.

You’ll get two 1.6-ounce tubes of safe-to-swallow toothpaste and four miniature toothbrushes featuring Winnie the Pooh. This toothpaste is also fluoride-free but is free from SLS, artificial flavors, dyes, and sweeteners.