When it comes to decisions for your kids, you want to make the very best ones. So when you’re deciding between fluoride toothpaste and homemade toothpaste, what’s better? You may have heard opinions of the good and bad of both.

Some people like homemade toothpaste because they feel it cleans better. Other people think differently because the homemade toothpaste doesn’t strengthen the enamel, which can cause future dental problems. There is a lot of media misinformation about fluoride, which causes confusion for everyone!

At South Davis Pediatric Dentistry, we are here to maximize your efforts to increase your child’s oral health. Let’s set the record straight and provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for your child’s oral health.

Why You Need Fluoride

Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel of the teeth and reverses cavities in their early stages. Fluoride helps to remove plaque and reverse the early stages of tooth decay.

What is inside Fluoride Toothpaste?

When you purchase toothpaste at the store, always check for the ADA symbol. This symbol ensures that the toothpaste contains fluoride and that it has passed a number of requirements issued by the ADA.

Below, we have listed some of the ingredients found within ADA-approved toothpaste. This is why there is really no substitute for fluoride toothpaste:

• Mild abrasives – these abrasives include phosphate salts, silicates, calcium carbonate and other ingredients that help scrub the surface of the teeth.
• Fluoride – this popular ingredient is used to reverse gum disease and tooth decay.
• Humectants – glycerol, glycol and sorbitol are used to prevent water loss in toothpaste.

Just like these three essential ingredients, there are many others within fluoride toothpaste that help oral health. For example, there are ingredients designed to give toothpaste flavor, and other ingredients that enhance the bubbling action when you scrub.

That ADA seal on the toothpaste bottle doesn’t only ensure good ingredients. It tells you that you can be confident that the product is safe for your child to use. The ADA ensures that good procedure is followed. If it’s not prepared and packaged safely, the toothpaste will not be distributed.

Are Homemade Toothpastes Effective?

From coconut oil to baking soda, we have seen a lot of people creating homemade toothpastes because they want an all-natural toothpaste for their child’s mouth. Some people prefer to make their own toothpaste because they do not like the ingredients in traditional toothpaste.

There are some small benefits to using homemade remedies. For example, using toothpaste with coconut oil can help control the amount of bacteria in the mouth that leads to plaque and gum disease. Some people use trace mineral drops within their homemade toothpastes that help heal sores and provide essential nutrients the body needs. The problem, however, is that these drops rarely get through the foods your child eats and drinks.

Baking soda is another common ingredient used to neutralize the acid in the mouth. Baking soda has a strong alkalinity source, which is beneficial to reduce this issue. However, using straight baking soda on the teeth does have its drawbacks because it is very abrasive on the enamel of the teeth.

Making Your Decision

What you as a parent need to know is that there is not enough evidence in professional studies to show homemade toothpaste is better than fluoride toothpaste. While it is compelling to consider coconut oil because it does have a number of health benefits, it fails to protect the enamel in the same way that fluoride does. Be sure to consider all of these options when you are deciding how to meet the needs of your child.

The best way to enhance your child’s smile, reverse gum disease, and prevent cavities is to always to help them properly brush and floss daily. That is your job as a parent, and our job is to help you know the best ways you can take care of your child. You can call our dental office today to book your cleaning and examination at (801) 294-8880.

We are here to help you make sure your child has the healthy teeth and mouth they deserve, so stop by and see us at the South Davis Pediatric Dentistry today. Schedule an appointment through our website and get your child’s oral health in tip-top shape.

South Davis Pediatric Dentistry is a children's dental office in Bountiful Utah