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What To Do When Your Kid Eats Toothpaste

added on: May 24, 2021

We love it when our patients visit and it clearly shows they’ve been following a great at-home, hygiene routine. It shows that the kids are invested in their oral health and may even find brushing and flossing, dare we say it, fun. But sometimes, kids enjoy brushing a little too much, or to be more specific, enjoy the actual toothpaste too much. So what do you do when your kid wants to eat her toothpaste? Let’s check in with your pediatric dentist in Chattanooga.

Eating Toothpaste Is Common

Toothpaste designed for kids comes in so many interesting flavors like bubblegum, cotton candy, strawberry, and even bacon. This can help make brushing fun, but it can also increase the likelihood that your child may want to snack on the yummy paste. Now, your pediatric dentist in Chattanooga wants parents to know that while swallowing a teeny bit of toothpaste isn’t usually a concern if it becomes a habit or a lot is ingested at one time, your child may experience some undesirable side effects. 

What Happens When Kids Eat Toothpaste? 

Although the ingredients in toothpaste are safe if used for their designed purpose of brushing, some can be unsafe if swallowed. Consuming a large amount of toothpaste may taste good to your child at the time, but trust us, it could lead to some unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Soapy/Salty taste in the mouth
  • Weakness
  • Slow heart rate

If a particularly large amount of toothpaste is swallowed, it may be necessary to place a precautionary call to poison control to seek advice. The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States.

Tips to Help Stop the Habit

Your pediatric dentist in Chattanooga wants your child (and you!) to use toothpaste to brush her pearly whites and not treat it as a snack. If you find your child has a desire to eat toothpaste, try the tips below to stop the habit and decrease the chance of experiencing negative side effects. 

  • Use the right amount of toothpaste each time — the size of a pea is about right
  • Keep the tube out of the reach of children
  • Monitor brushing
  • Switch to a less tempting flavor
  • Brush with your kids to show them the right way

If you need more advice on how to help keep toothpaste on teeth and out of tummies, or your child is in need of a Chattanooga pediatric dentist, give us a call today!


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