The Star Malaysia - Star2
Keep your tots’ teeth healthy
BEING a new mother is tough. It can be a lot to take in for her, between making sure that she is doing the right thing for her child and ensuring it is happy and healthy.
Every mother who goes through the process knows that pretty well.
One of the toughest tasks is figuring out how to introduce brushing teeth to toddlers ages one and two. At these ages, kids will scream, cry and fight, or even lock their jaws to avoid using the toothbrush and toothpaste.
When they turn three years old onwards, their behaviour changes and then they would happily swallow the toothpaste, which often terrifies mothers.
Protecting children’s milk teeth is not as stressful as every mother thinks – just make tooth brushing an enjoyable routine for both mother and kid.
In addition, getting the right toothpaste can get half the job done too.
Basics about toothpaste
Toothpaste is generally made up of active ingredients, humectant, surfactant, water, sweetener and preservative. Depending on its formula, the active ingredients in toothpaste are determined based on their purpose – be it stain removing abrasives for teeth whitening or antibacterial for plaque prevention.
A surfactant is a foaming agent that enables toothpaste to spread evenly in the mouth. Also, there is a high percentage (around 90%) of water in toothpaste, which requires the humectant to hold in place, and preservatives to ensure it free from bacterial growth.
As toothpaste is used in the mouth, most of these are sweetened to make them more palatable.
Why kids’ toothpaste?
Maintaining kids’ good oral and dental hygiene is important in preventing tooth decay.
Many parents shy away from the premium price on common kids’ toothpaste and doubt the need to get one specifically for kids.
However it is important to choose a non-toxic toothpaste, for children are more susceptible than adults to toxic materials and they have not developed the spitting reflex until they are about seven or eight years old.
If left unsupervised, they will swallow and eat some of the toothpaste while brushing.
Who can resist the flavourful and yummy strawberry or banana toothpaste?
Ingesting toothpaste containing fluoride by children should be minimised as fluoride increases the risk of fluorosis – a condition where excessive fluorides are deposited on the permanent teeth, making them appear discoloured.
Choosing the right toothpaste for your children
Ingesting toothpaste is fun for children, so make sure that it is safe to be swallowed. Opt for a toothpaste that is made from natural ingredients and natural preservatives.
Pay attention to chemicals such as fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), artificial colourings, artificial sweeteners, triclosan, and parabens, which have been proven to cause some damage to the kids’ health. For instance, too much fluoride is found to impair children’s IQ while SLS is known to cause microscopic tear or ulcer in the mucosa layer.
Red Seal Kids Toothpaste – a natural alternative
Trusted New Zealand brand since the 1920s Red Seal was developed with the belief that people should have a better understanding of the products they use daily.
Red Seal has worked with pharmacists and naturopaths to develop a range of toothpastes made from all-natural ingredients.
Its toothpastes are paraben- and triclosan-free and only contain ingredients such as calcium, zinc and magnesium that help keep your children’s teeth cleaner, whiter and stronger.
One of their offerings, the SLS-free Kids Toothpaste is 100% natural. It contains natural banana and peach flavour that encourages kids to brush their teeth without having to worry about the risk of swallowing harmful chemicals.
It uses purified New Zealand water and an antioxidant known as totarol that is extracted from native trees that existed since 1,000 years ago.
The Red Seal Natural SLS-free Kids Toothpaste is distributed in Malaysia at the price of RM28.20.
Visit any Caring pharmacies nearby to find out more from the pharmacist.