kids toothpaste v tiny quantity of adult toothpaste

my 4 year old daughter loves toothpaste, she did have the kiddie one until recently, bubblegum flavoured vile stuff, I even caught her dabbing it onto her finger and eating it :S - anyway recently the tube has vanished, not sure what happened to it but since then she's had a tiny amount of adult toothpaste instead, which has a much stronger, minty flavour that she doesn't want to actually eat, and is quite happy to just clean her teeth with it. Is there any pressing reason to buy her any more of the kids toothpaste, which she'll find some way to eat directly out of the tube, or can I give her small amouts of the adult one?

I don't know for certain but I think fluoride levels in adults toothpastes are much higher, so I'd be tempted to keep her on a children's one til she gets her adult teeth through. Too much fluoride can cause brown marks to appear on teeth, so I'd probably look for a less-appealing tasting one aimed specifically at milk teeth.

Colgate do a good one which is a mild mint that is specifically for milk teeth.

FWIW both of mine have used adult toothpaste for a while now, I switched after a friend's 5 yo son had to have a tooth pulled cos it was rotten. I don't know why but I had it in my head that the adult one would be "stronger" or more effective. Probably completely wrong, but I haven't noticed any ill effects!

check fluoride levels - kids ones vary, but are lower than adult. I'd get her a children's mint one for a couple more years.

Very annoyingly not all manufacturers put flavour on the packets - and mine will ONLY use mint!

Dhakiyya, do you have flouride in the water where you are? Reason I ask - what OA says about the flouride levels in most toothpastes is right, however, in Scotland (well, certainly in my area) - for example - we don't have flouride in our water. We are therefore given toothpaste by the HVs, nursery and dentist that is 1000mpp in strength (I think most children's toothpaste is about 500) to make up for the fact that we don't have the benefit of additional flouride in the water, and that the standard toothpastes for milk teeth do not provide enough. That makes it much 'stronger' than your average adult's toothpaste and, to be honest, I haven't seen any bad side-effects such as browning on my boys' teeth.

If you don't have flouride in your water, then I'd suggest that an adult toothpaste should be fine, as long as it's higher in flouride than the children's equivalent. Or, if you send me your address, I'd be delighted to send you over some of ours - we have enough to open a toothpaste shop!!

Another tip they give us flouride-denied Scots is to NOT let them rinse their mouths out after brushing (I personally think 'bleurgh' to this, I hate that dry, chalky taste from not rinsing properly); and to apply the toothpaste to a dry - not wet - brush. It's all about the toothpaste having as much contact with the teeth for as long as possible.

If you do have flouride in your water, I'd probably stick to the kids' one. I know you can get mild-mint flavoured ones in this country, certainly.

Im sure when we took the girls to the dentist for their checkup last time she said not to bother with kid toothpastes and just use a tiny amount of adult toothpaste and make sure they dont swallow it. YD was 4 then. Could you ask your dentist?

very good point about flouride in the water actually :S .... in Bahrain the water is too high in flourine (natural flourine, nothing added) and in the past old men and women had dreadful skeletal problems from a lifetime of drinking the water there :S nowadays Bahrainis drink bottled water from elsewhere so that's a thing of the past (it's amazing what you learn from museums, the Bahraini National Museum is definitely worth a visit if you ever go on holiday in Bahrain!) ..... but I'm wondering what the local tap water is like in terms of flourine content? Is there any way to find out, like a website or something with info about different countries' tapwater? If the levels are very high then wouldn't it be better for the whole family to use a non flourinated toothpaste?

We drink bottled drinking water which says it's 0.85 PPM for flouride (I have no idea if that's high or low, to be honest!). We always have the same brand cause it comes in very large containers from the local shop and goes into a water cooler/heater. However the tap water is another matter, it's safe to drink in that it won't give you gastroentiritus or cholera or anything, but it's got sand in it* and it's not recommended to drink it in large quantites... I have no idea if it's got high flourine like the water in Bahrain. We've always used the tap water for bathing, teeth cleaning, washing up etc. just not for drinking.

*everything has sand in it here!

actually just done some digging on the internet, and I think we're going to switch to non flourinated toothpaste, cause of the following things:

- there are high flourine levels in spring water in Mecca, which suggests that it's likely to be the case in the whole Arabian peninsular, particularly in ground water, and the local bottled water comes from springs and oases whcih are ground water.

- people here drink more water due to the extreme heat, so even at 0.8ppm which is what the water bottled water contains, we'll be getting enough flourine and adding more through using flourinated toothpaste will possibly be too much for the kids (I encourage the older one to drink water rather than juice etc, and the little one is still breastfed so gets what I get)

anyway, interesting how this thread has turned out! not the answer I expected but anyway I think it's been a lot of benefit!

If children spit it out properly adult toothpaste shouldn't be a problem. For as long as they swallow it and don't rinse properly children's is probably the best bet. That's what they tell us here.

Here, depending upon the local levels of flouride in the water, doctors prescribe flouride drops for children which ensures that they get just the right amount.