What Is the Safest Toothpaste for Children?

Ensuring our children’s dental health is an integral part of their overall well-being. The journey to maintain a bright, healthy smile begins with the right toothpaste. But with so many options available, choosing the safest toothpaste for your child can feel overwhelming. This article aims to equip you with the knowledge and tools to make an informed choice.

We’ll delve into the common ingredients found in traditional toothpaste and their potential risks, exploring the alternative options available in the natural and organic market. We’ll also navigate the ongoing debate surrounding fluoride use in children’s toothpaste and provide a balanced perspective.

We’ll then turn our attention to the different certifications and what they mean, emphasizing the importance of ingredient transparency. After we arm you with this knowledge, we’ll review five of the safest toothpaste options currently available for children, breaking down their pros, cons, and unique features.

Finally, because good dental health extends beyond just choosing the right toothpaste, we’ll discuss other critical factors like proper brushing techniques, regular dental checkups, and a diet conducive to good oral health.

Our goal is to help you make a decision that will keep your child smiling—today and for years to come. So, let’s embark on this enlightening journey together.

Understanding Toothpaste Ingredients

To make informed decisions about your child’s dental health, it’s crucial to understand what goes into the tube. Not all toothpaste is created equal, and the ingredients list can often look like a chemistry exam. Let’s break it down.

Common Ingredients in Regular Toothpaste

Most conventional toothpastes share some common ingredients. Here’s a look at what they are and why they’re used:

  • Fluoride: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. However, excessive fluoride can cause fluorosis, a cosmetic condition that affects the color of the teeth, particularly in children under six.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This is a detergent used to create foam and distribute the toothpaste evenly across your teeth. Some people might find SLS irritating, leading to sores or rashes.
  • Artificial Sweeteners and Colorings: These are used to make the toothpaste taste and look appealing to kids. However, some studies suggest potential health risks, although more research is needed.

Natural and Organic Toothpaste Ingredients

If you’re looking for a more natural approach, here are some ingredients you might find in organic toothpaste:

  • Natural Abrasives: Ingredients like baking soda or hydrated silica are used to gently remove plaque and surface stains from the teeth.
  • Essential Oils: Oils like mint or cinnamon not only make toothpaste taste better but also have antimicrobial properties that help keep your mouth clean.
  • Organic Sweeteners: Instead of artificial sweeteners, some natural toothpaste use xylitol or stevia, which can reduce bacteria in the mouth without promoting tooth decay.
  • Natural Preservatives: To prevent bacteria growth without resorting to potentially harmful chemicals, natural toothpaste often use ingredients like citric acid or rosemary extract.

Remember, even if toothpaste is marketed as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients list for yourself.

Fluoride vs. Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

One of the most significant debates when it comes to toothpaste, especially for children, revolves around fluoride. Is it a vital ingredient, or is it better to avoid it? Let’s explore this contentious issue.

Fluoride is a mineral that plays a crucial role in tooth health. It’s added to many toothpastes because it’s been shown to reduce cavities and strengthen enamel. The American Dental Association and many dentists recommend kinds of toothpaste with fluoride because of its proven benefits.

However, the main concern arises from fluoride overexposure, especially in children under six. Too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, which can cause white spots or streaks on the teeth. In more severe cases, it might even lead to pitting or brown discoloration.

That’s why some parents prefer fluoride-free toothpaste for their children, especially if their kids haven’t quite mastered the art of spitting out toothpaste after brushing. Moreover, if your child is already getting a significant amount of fluoride from other sources like fluoridated water or dietary supplements, a fluoride-free toothpaste might be a reasonable choice.

However, it’s important to remember that fluoride-free toothpaste is not as effective at preventing cavities as fluoride toothpaste. Therefore, if you decide to use a fluoride-free option, you’ll need to pay extra attention to other preventive measures like a diet low in sugar, regular dental checkups, and good brushing techniques.

Every family is unique, and the best choice depends on your child’s specific circumstances and risks. It’s always best to consult with a dental professional to make the most informed decision.

Evaluating Safety: What to Look For in Children’s Toothpaste

Choosing the safest toothpaste involves more than just deciding between fluoride and fluoride-free. The presence of safety certifications and ingredient transparency are also important factors to consider.

Certification Labels

Certifications can provide an extra level of assurance when selecting a product. Here’s what some common certifications mean:

  • Organic Certifications: Labels like USDA or Ecocert signify that a product is made with a high percentage of organic ingredients, reducing the risk of exposure to harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
  • Leaping Bunny Certification: A Leaping Bunny certification indicates a product is cruelty-free, meaning it hasn’t been tested on animals.
  • ADA Seal of Acceptance: The American Dental Association (ADA) grants this seal to products that meet their standards for safety and effectiveness. If a toothpaste has this seal, you can trust it’s been rigorously tested.

Ingredient Transparency

A company that values transparency will make it easy for you to understand what’s in their product. Here’s what to look for:

  • Clear Ingredient List: The ingredients should be listed, ideally with explanations for why each one is included. Avoid brands that use vague terms like “fragrance” or “flavor” without specifying what these consist of.
  • No Hidden Ingredients: Sometimes, harmful ingredients can be hidden under less-known names. For example, many different names can be used for artificial sweeteners, like “acesulfame K” or “saccharin”.

Always remember, the safest toothpaste for your child is the one you feel most comfortable with, after considering all these factors. If you’re unsure about an ingredient or certification, don’t hesitate to reach out to the company or consult with a dental professional.

Top 5 Safest Toothpaste Options for Children

Now that we’ve covered what to look for in toothpaste, let’s discuss some specific products. Each of these has been chosen for its commitment to safety and health.

1: Tom’s of Maine Fluoride-Free Children’s Toothpaste

Tom’s of Maine offers a natural, fluoride-free toothpaste that’s a favorite among parents. It uses real fruit juice and xylitol for a sweet, kid-friendly flavor. Plus, it’s free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.


  • Made with natural ingredients.
  • ADA approved.


  • Some parents report that the taste isn’t popular with their children.

2: Hello Oral Care Kids Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Hello Oral Care’s fluoride-free toothpaste is vegan, and Leaping Bunny certified. It’s made with natural ingredients like aloe vera to soothe gums and erythritol and xylitol to fight plaque.


  • Uses naturally derived ingredients.
  • Comes in a variety of flavors that kids love.


  • Not ADA approved.

3: Green People Organic Children Toothpaste

Green People’s Organic Children Toothpaste is certified organic, boasting 88% certified organic agricultural ingredients. It’s designed to be safe if swallowed, making it a good choice for younger kids.


  • Certified organic with high-quality ingredients.
  • Free from SLS and fluoride.


  • The mild flavor might not be appealing to all children.
  • Can be a bit pricier due to organic certification.

4: Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste

Jack N’ Jill’s toothpaste is natural, certified organic, and designed specifically for babies, toddlers, and children. It’s safe to swallow, and free from fluoride, SLS, and GMOs.


  • Includes organic calendula to soothe gums.
  • Comes in several natural fruit flavors kids enjoy.


  • Some parents might find the consistency too thin.
  • Not ADA approved.

5: Redmond Earthpaste Lemon Twist Toothpaste

Redmond’s Earthpaste offers a minimal-ingredient approach to toothpaste. It combines Redmond Clay, Real Salt, xylitol, and essential oils. It’s fluoride-free, SLS-free, and glycerin-free.


  • Made with minimal, natural ingredients.
  • Contains no artificial coloring – it’s naturally a clay color.


  • The unusual color and texture might be off-putting for some kids.
  • Some parents may prefer toothpaste with fluoride.

Remember that toothpaste is just one piece of the oral hygiene puzzle. These options can help improve your child’s oral health routine, but regular brushing, a balanced diet, and routine dental check-ups are equally important. Regardless of the toothpaste you choose, the most important thing is that it encourages your children to brush regularly and correctly.

Other Factors to Consider for Children’s Oral Health

Choosing the right toothpaste is a crucial step in your child’s oral health journey. However, it’s important to remember that several other factors significantly influence dental health.

Proper Brushing Techniques for Children

Just as important as the toothpaste your child uses is how they use it. Teaching proper brushing techniques early can set the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.

  • Kids should brush at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed.
  • Encourage your child to spend at least two minutes brushing to make sure they thoroughly clean all surfaces.
  • Demonstrate the correct technique: small, circular motions, paying particular attention to the back teeth and gum line.

Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Regular checkups with a dentist are essential for monitoring your child’s oral health. These visits can catch potential issues before they become significant problems.

  • Most dentists recommend that children start regular dental check-ups by their first birthday.
  • Regular visits can also help your child become more comfortable with the dentist, easing dental anxiety.

Role of Diet in Dental Health

What your child eats plays a significant role in their oral health. Certain foods can contribute to tooth decay, while others can promote oral health.

  • Limit sugary foods and drinks that can lead to cavities.
  • Encourage a diet high in fruits and vegetables, which are good for teeth.
  • Make sure your child is getting enough calcium, which is essential for tooth health.

A holistic approach to oral health, which includes the right toothpaste, proper brushing techniques, regular dental check-ups, and a balanced diet, will set your child up for a future of healthy smiles.


Taking care of your child’s dental health is a vital part of their overall well-being. From the toothpaste they use to how they brush their teeth, each decision you make impacts their oral health. Although choosing the right toothpaste may seem like a small choice, it can have a big effect on your child’s dental hygiene and attitude toward brushing.

In this guide, we’ve explored the ingredients in regular and natural toothpaste, discussed the debate around fluoride, considered the importance of safety certifications and ingredient transparency, and looked at some of the safest children’s toothpaste options on the market.

Remember, while the right toothpaste is essential, it’s not the only factor to consider. Equally important are good brushing techniques, regular dental checkups, and a healthy diet.

At the end of the day, the best toothpaste for your child is one that meets your family’s specific needs and preferences, and importantly, one that your child will use. After all, the most effective toothpaste is the one that encourages your child to brush regularly and properly.

Here’s to a future full of bright, healthy smiles!


To further aid you on your journey to providing the best dental care for your child, here are some helpful resources and studies that have informed the contents of this article.

  1. American Dental Association: Comprehensive resource for oral health information including the benefits of fluoride and the importance of regular dental checkups.
  2. Mayo Clinic – Oral Health: In-depth information about children’s oral health and the role diet plays in it.
  3. Fluoride Action Network: Further information about the ongoing debate surrounding fluoride in dental care products.
  4. Environmental Working Group: A resource for information about the potential impact of various toothpaste ingredients.
  5. “Fluoride toothpaste efficacy and safety in children younger than 6 years” – PubMed: A scientific study examining the safety and efficacy of fluoride toothpaste in children.
  6. “The Role of Diet in the Prevention of Dental Erosion” – PubMed: An in-depth study on the impact of diet on dental health.

By continually educating ourselves, we can ensure our children enjoy the healthiest smiles possible. As with all health-related matters, do not hesitate to seek professional advice if you have any concerns about your child’s dental health.