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My 5-year-old hates toothpaste. Should I still make her use it?

My 5-year-old hates toothpaste. Should I still make her use it?

Just because a child doesn’t like one type of toothpaste doesn’t mean she’ll refuse them all. Many kids hate the minty taste of traditional adult toothpastes, but they may love a berry or bubblegum flavor.

By age 5 or 6, kids should be able to spit out the foam rather than swallow it. If your daughter hasn’t mastered this skill yet, teaching her how to do so can make brushing more pleasant for both of you.

If your daughter still resists using toothpaste, have her brush with a wet toothbrush and no paste, and then follow up with a fluoride rinse. Many studies prove that topical fluoride helps prevent cavities, so this step is critical if she’s not using toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Even though your daughter probably still has mostly baby teeth, keeping them healthy is essential. If she loses them too early because of excessive decay, her permanent teeth can drift, which increases the odds that she’ll need orthodontia. Instilling good oral hygiene habits early will benefit her for the rest of her life.

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