Is Toothpaste Harmful When Swallowed & Ingested?

two young girls brushing their teeth

As parents ourselves, we understand first hand that children often like to consume things they shouldn’t. Toothpaste is not excluded from this list. As your child gains independence and starts taking their oral hygiene routine into their own hands, it’s important to know what precautions you should take when dealing with toothpaste.

What’s in Toothpaste?

The main active ingredient in most toothpaste is sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride is FDA approved as a safe and effective anti-cavity agent for oral healthcare products.

Is Fluoride in Toothpaste Safe to Ingest?

While fluoride is technically considered a toxin, it is completely safe to digest in small amounts, including the amount used in toothpaste to brush teeth. Fluoride is also present in low quantities in all drinking water to help minimize cavities and decay.

If your child ingests some toothpaste while brushing their teeth, they should be completely fine! It would take them eating multiple tubes of toothpaste to have any kind of serious reaction to the fluoride.

How to Prevent Your Child From Eating Toothpaste

Many kid’s toothpastes are created with delicious, yummy flavors. We understand that the flavors may tempt your child to sneak into the bathroom and eat the toothpaste on its own. We recommend putting the toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush and then placing the tube completely out of reach so that they don’t have access to it. Keep reminding your child to spit and rinse while they’re brushing their teeth and let them know that swallowing their toothpaste is not okay.

Signs Your Child Ingested Too Much Toothpaste

If your child eats a lot of toothpaste and therefore ingests too much fluoride, they will most likely get an upset stomach and vomit. If this is the case, we recommend calling your dentist and poison control right away. They may also experience dental fluorosis which can affect the appearance of tooth enamel. However, this is highly unlikely unless an excessive amount of fluoride is consumed.

If you have any questions about your child’s toothpaste, please feel free to contact Jackson Smiles Family Dentistry. Our team is more than happy to answer them and help you get the information you need!

Questions about your child's toothpaste? Contact our friendly staff for answers!

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