Is Toddler Toothpaste Safe to Swallow?

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Dental care can sometimes be challenging when you have a toddler.  They may not like the feeling of a toothbrush in their mouth, or the taste of toothpaste. However, it is important to instill good habits early when it comes to oral health so your toddler can have clean, strong teeth.

When it comes to introducing toothpaste to toddlers, many parents wonder, is toddler toothpaste safe to swallow?  Read on to learn all about using toddler toothpaste. 

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When Should Toddlers Use Toothpaste?

When babies start getting teeth they should be gently brushed with a wet, soft bristled toothbrush.  This cleans the teeth and gums and also gets the baby used to the feeling of having their teeth brushed.  

Once they get a little older, you can introduce toothpaste to them.  A good age to introduce your toddler to toothpaste is 18 months – 2 years old.  Use a very small amount to start with – the size of a grain of rice.  When they turn 3, try using a pea sized amount of toothpaste. 

Be sure you use toddler toothpaste, and not adult toothpaste.  Not only does toddler toothpaste have a more appealing taste, it is also formulated differently than adult toothpaste. 

A good age to introduce your toddler to toothpaste is 18 months – 2 years old.

What is Toddler Toothpaste?

As it’s name implies, toddler toothpaste is formulated specifically for use by young children.  Many toddler toothpaste come fluoride free, while others contain fluoride.  

The reason for offering fluoride free toothpaste is that fluoride can be harmful if ingested in large amounts.  If the child is not able to spit out their toothpaste, fluoride free toothpaste is recommended.  

Another difference between toddler toothpaste and adult toothpaste is the taste.  Many toddlers dislike strong flavors like mint.  Instead, toddler toothpaste comes in different flavors such as strawberry and bubblegum.  Toddlers can be picky, so be prepared to try a few different flavors to find one they like. 

Some toddler toothpastes try to look more marketable to kids by adding glitter to the paste, or characters on the packaging.  This fun packaging may make you child more interested in trying toothpaste. 

Is Toddler Toothpaste Safe to Swallow?

Because toddlers may have difficulty spitting, many parents wonder, Is toddler toothpaste safe to swallow?  The answer depends on the type of toothpaste used.  

Toothpaste containing fluoride is not safe to swallow. Dentists recommend fluoride toothpaste because of it’s anti-cavity properties, but it must be used under adult supervision.  

When swallowed in large amounts, fluoride can cause an upset stomach and a condition called fluorosis, which causes discolored permanent teeth.  Fluorosis forms in the first 8 years of the child’s life, and appears when the permanent teeth grow in.  

If the toothpaste is fluoride free, it is safe to swallow. These toothpastes are usually for younger children that have difficulty spitting.  Some parents opt for fluoride free toothpaste if they live in an area with fluoridated water.  

Toothpaste that is fluoride free is safe to swallow.

Recommended Toddler Toothpaste

Dr. Brown’s Baby Toothpaste


  • Help baby learn good dental hygiene
  • Safe TO swallow, Fluoride-free Toothpaste
  • Has no Artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Real strawberry flavor babies love
  • Use pea-size drop and brush in small, circular motions on teeth and gums twice a day

Dr. Brown’s Baby Toothpaste is a great first toothpaste for babies and toddlers because it is fluoride free and safe to swallow.  It comes in 2 flavors – strawberry and pear. Babies love the taste and parents love that this toothpaste contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  

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Hello Oral Care Kids Fluoride Free and SLS Free Toothpaste


  • Contains 1 – 4.2oz tube of toothpaste
  • Hello is thoughtfully formulated with high quality ingredients like xylitol, erythritol, soothing aloe vera, and a silica blend that gently polish teeth. We’re serious about being friendly, and about what goes into little mouths.
  • Hello boxes are made from 100% recycled paperboard and printed with soy inks. BPA-free and contains no phthalates
  • Choose friendly! Hello is vegan, never tested on animals (Leaping Bunny Certified) and made in the USA. 
  • Free from dyes, sls/sulfates, artificial sweeteners/flavors, microbeads, triclosan and gluten.

Hello is another great choice for toddler toothpaste.  This toothpaste is fluoride free, vegan, and free from dyes, sulfates, gluten, and artificial sweeteners and flavors.  The flavor is natural watermelon, which my kids did enjoy.  Hello is also extremely affordable, so you can’t go wrong.  

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Tom’s of Maine Natural Children’s Fluoride Toothpaste


  • WHAT YOU’LL GET: Three 5.1-ounce tubes of Tom’s of Maine kids fluoride toothpaste in Silly Strawberry Flavor
  • ADA APPROVED: Contains fluoride for anticavity protection, and calcium and silica to gently clean teeth
  • TASTE THEY LOVE: This natural kids toothpaste comes in a fun, fruity flavor to help develop brushing habits
  • RECYCLABLE TUBE: Once empty, replace cap and recycle with #2 plastics
  • NATURAL & RESPONSIBLE: Contains no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors and is not tested on animals

When your child is ready for fluoride toothpaste, Toms is always a great choice.  I’ve been using Tom’s adult toothpaste for quite some time now, so I was happy to see that they make a toddler version as well.  

This toothpaste is ADA approved, and free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.  The flavor is strawberry, which is always a hit with kids. Calcium and silica gently clean the teeth, while the added fluoride provides anticavity protection.

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Toddlers should start using toothpaste when they are 18 months – 2 years old.  Toddler toothpaste is safe to swallow if it is fluoride free.  Fluoride free toothpaste should be used until the child is able to spit.