When should we begin using toothpaste?

Your child is ready for a smear of fluoridated toothpaste after the first tooth erupts.  Once your child is able to spit out excess toothpaste (usually around age 2), your child may use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.  Ask your pediatric dentist to show you the difference between a smear and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste at your first visit.  Moreover, children will continue to need help brushing their teeth until they have the proper dexterity to tie their shoes (usually around age 5 or 6).  Teeth should be brushed twice daily; once after breakfast and again before bed.

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