Should you be worried If your child swallows toothpaste?

If you landed on this blog, you’re probably concerned about your child eating toothpaste.

Who wouldn’t be? Toothpaste isn’t something we are supposed to it. It is a chemical substance and should only be used to clean teeth. Right?

But, how much concerned should you be if your child swallows toothpaste? Does it affect your child’s health? How can you prevent your child from eating toothpaste? These are some questions that concerned parents find answers to.

emergency dentist

So, here we have gathered some factual information on the matter of children eating toothpaste.

The downside of toothpaste

Most toothpastes contain fluoride which is considered beneficial for oral health. It helps strengthen the tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. So, why should you be even worried if your child swallows this teeth-friendly substance in their toothpaste?

Well, here’s the reason. Fluoride when consumed in high concentrations from different sources like drinking water, processed food and other dietary can adversely affect your teeth and possess risks to your overall health.

A quick insight into facts…

Research says that the presence of fluoride in toothpaste can indeed help prevent cavities in both children and adults. However, consuming more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste each day can increase your child’s risk for dental fluorosis.

In addition, high fluoride intake can lead to fluoride poisoning with symptoms such as headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and upset stomach.

Guidelines for parents:

Though high concentrations of fluoride can be harmful for health, swallowing toothpaste is not life threatening to children in any way.

Moreover, there are a few things parents can do prevent their kids from excess fluoride exposure and associated risks:

  • Use low fluoride toothpaste for your children until age six
  • Keep toothpaste out of reach of children under the age of six.
  • Seek assistance of an emergency dentist if your child accidently swallows an abnormal amount of toothpaste.
  • Do not use toothpaste until your child is 18 months old.
  • After the first appearance of a baby tooth, use a smear of toothpaste until three years of age. Use a pea sized dab of toothpaste afterwards.
  • Avoid flavoured toothpastes if possible as they increase the urge to swallow toothpaste while brushing.

Swallowing fluoride accidently or deliberately would not possess any fatal risk to your child. However, it is important to make sure your child receives the amount of fluoride they need to maintain good dental health.

Also, educate your child on the harmful effects of ingesting toothpaste when they are able to understand. Because a little care from parents can help their children maintain healthy strong teeth in the long run.


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