If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you may be wondering if it's a good idea to to make homemade toothpaste for your child. Here, our children's dentist shares what you need to know before you get started on your next project.
Many kids’ toothpastes are for ages two and up, so until then you can hold off on using toothpaste until later.
But if your child is older, or you feel compelled to use more than water, you may be wondering about store-bought vs homemade options.
What's in store-bought toothpaste?
Toothpastes available at your local store or pharmacy help clean the teeth and along the gums.
While the ingredients in these toothpastes can vary, most include fluoride, a natural mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel.
These toothpastes often also include gentle abrasives to help remove stains and food debris from your teeth without scratching them.
What's in homemade toothpaste?
The ingredients in recipes for homemade toothpastes differ greatly from those in store-bought ones. Recipes include ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice, coconut oil and charcoal.
While these ingredients may be natural, it doesn't mean they're safe for your child's teeth. Some ingredients are acidic (like lemon juice) and some are mildly abrasive (like baking soda) which can be harmful to your child's tooth enamel.
Homemade toothpastes are also missing a key cavity-fighting ingredient: fluoride. If you make your own toothpaste at home, you and your kids will miss out on the important benefits that fluoride provides.
Is homemade toothpaste good or bad?
There are many products that you can make at home, but toothpaste shouldn't be one of them. To protect your child's teeth, be sure to buy toothpaste with fluoride.