22 answers

Seeking Recommendations for Toothpaste/toothbrush for an 18-Month Old

Hi moms -

I have been using Baby Orajel (flouride-free) and the accompanying fingerbrush for my 18-month old's teeth, but I was wondering what other moms are using to brush their toddler's teeth and gums. His doctor says a small dab of regular toothpaste is safe and recommended, but I wanted some more input from other moms.
Any recommendations on types/brands of toothpaste and toothbrush? Should we just comtinue with the Baby Orajel?

Thank you in advance!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for your thoughtful responses! I found all of them to be insightful and helpful - especially considering they come from other moms with similar experiences.

Featured Answers

I have been using the Stage 1 Oral B toothpaste and toothbrush since my son starting eating solids at 6 months (he's now almost 1 year old). I brush briefly, then he uses the toothbrush himself to "brush" his own teeth. He loves it.

Oragel makes a toothpaste for little kids and the packaging comes with a toothbrush... That's what I use for my 15 month old

More Answers

Any kind that would make it fun for him....likely a soft bristle is best. I got lite up tooth brushes at the dollar store for my kids.

I did not use Flouride toothpaste until I knew my kids could spit out (which is finally now at 4 1/2 and 6 1/2). Flouride only works on the surface of the teeth, and not if injested, so there is no need and I do not think completely safe if they swallow it. My kids teeth are great. I used Toms Flouride free toothpaste from Whole Foods.

I am not sure if you want a natural and totally organic toothpaste with no artificial colors or sweeteners and no chemicals, but there is an amazing web site www.cosmeticsdatabase.com you should check out! It rates ALL products and tells you if there are any risks for cancer, asthma, hormosone disruptors etc. It rates each product too. The ones that I researched that were the safest were Jason Natural Earth's Best Toddler Toothpaste - strawberry banana and also Healing Scents Spearmist Toothpaste.

I have a 3yr old and a 21 month old and we use crest for kids and I buy a small soft toothbrush-usually oral B they have different stages or crest makes nice small ones. Just use a pea size amt of toothpaste and if ya want wipe it with a washcloth when your done so you limit the swallowing, but a peasize is safe. I use to work for a pedo dentist and we always rec using a fluoridated toothpaste.Hope this helps. L.

Fluoride isn't good for infants and young children. Stay with the flouride-free toothpaste. There are also some great "training gels" that are ok to be swallowed. My 3 yr old is just now experimenting with spitting out but I will stick with the training gel for a while longer.

Here's a quote from a dental website "Too much flouride in infants and toddlers teeth can lead to fluorosis, a condition which causes permanent white, yellow or brown spots to appear on the child's "adult teeth" as they appear. Toothpaste won't remove this staining. While it's usually more of a cosmetic concern, in severe cases fluorosis also can cause pitting of the tooth enamel. That's why the American Dental Association recommends that infants and children under age 2 never use fluoride-containing toothpaste, and any formula they ingest should be mixed with non-fluoridated water."


I wouldn't use regular toothpaste. Not even a dab until he can spit out. My kids are 3.5 and 6 and still use non fluoride toothpaste. They both had xrays recently and still no cavities. We floss and brush everyday. Plus every few weeks I put act rinse on the toothbrush and brush their teeth with it. They are both ready by now, so I may introduce fluoride toothpaste very soon. When my daughter was young, I don't recall the age but maybe around your childs age, I used regular toothpaste. I don't know why! I knew she was too young, I can't for the life of me remember why I did it. Long story short, she got white spots on her teeth and the dentist said it was from too much fluoride - so - I don't know, I never checked that out but I stopped using fluoride toothpaste.

As for a toothbrush, you'll see they have ages on them. So just get one that says infant for your child.


I have been using the Stage 1 Oral B toothpaste and toothbrush since my son starting eating solids at 6 months (he's now almost 1 year old). I brush briefly, then he uses the toothbrush himself to "brush" his own teeth. He loves it.

just continue with the baby orajel or other brand of same non-fluouridated stuff and use a toothbrush or whatever. You can switch to the fluouride toothpaste when your little one can reliably spit. (not swallow it)

I would not use fluoride until he can spit it out. It can cause really ugly, permanent stains on his teeth (even his adult teeth waiting to come in). Not to mention it is not good for the rest of the body either at that young age. We use Tom's of Maine all natural toothpaste - fluoride free. We like Strawberry flavor, it also comes (for later) in the same toothpaste but with fluoride added so you don't have to switch brands/flavors later. If you start him off on the natural stuff, he will love it (my kids DO NOT like all that other sparkle bubble gum kids paste) but if you try to switch him later he might not want to. You can get Tom's at Henry's or Whole Foods markets. I would swich to a "real" baby size tooth brush though. :-)

Oragel makes a toothpaste for little kids and the packaging comes with a toothbrush... That's what I use for my 15 month old

I just took my 18 month old son to his dentist for the first time yesterday and she suggested using Crest Sparkles in a very small amount on his toothbrush daily. It tastes really good and my son seemed to love it. It has fluoride in it and his dentist said that now that he has his rear molars in, it's really important to protect his back teeth with some fluoride. He also was given "big boy" toothbrush, which was a "Stages" toothbrush made by Orajel (I think); it has a brightly colored soft bristle head and an easy grip handle (his had PowerRangers on the handle) and he enjoys trying to brush his teeth by himself. We let him try for a little bit, then we go over all of them again to make sure no teeth were missed. Some days are easier than others but overall, he wants to brush his teeth when we brush our teeth.
I hope this info helps. Good luck!!

My daughter is 18 months, I just ran out of the infant toothpaste so now I use the strawberry flavored Kids Colgate. I put the tiniest bit on (like 1/4 pea size)and yes it has flouride in it. I figured flouride was fine because my ped. actually told us she should be drinking water with flouride anyway.

I use Weleda. It has no rubbish in it. I love it.

with my daughter who is 20 months old i use (and have used since she was 10 months) the oragel training toothpaste (floride free) and a soft bristle childs toothbrush. i dont know about your lil one but my daughter has already been to a dentist (at 14m) she gave me a childrens floride toothpaste and said just a smear of it once a day so you can limit how much they swallow. i hope this is helpful good luck!

Tom's of Maine-flouride free is great!

You can continue with baby orajel until he reaches 2 years old... I think, at this age, they can use toddler toothpaste, and it has some fluoride in it.

As for brushing teeth...our son has had a full set of teeth since before he was 2 years old... and we love the "Oral B- Pulsar" toothbrush. It works WAY better than battery/electric toothbrushes. And my son doesn't mind it.. in fact he really likes this vibrating toothbrush. And it does clean better. My whole family uses this toothbrush. We love it. For kids, I would get the "soft- compact head" size/bristles.

Per our Pediatric Dentist... he says that for kids, electric or vibrating toothbrushes are far superior in keeping the teeth cleaner and preventing cavities. He said that the kids (his patients) who use electric/vibrating toothbrushes, have far cleaner teeth.

Good luck,

My children are older but we used Tom's of Maine flouride-free toothpaste until they learned how to rinse and spit. (They now use the same brand but with flouride). I'm just not a big fan of a lot of chemicals and a lot of enviromental and health safety websites recommend this brand.


I work for a dentist, and this is what we recommend for our younger patients (we see them as young as 1yr): any kind of toothpaste is fine because you are only putting enough on the bristles to flavor the toothbrush. Most little ones do not like the mint flavors because it's too spicy for them. You want to avoid using a lot of toothpaste if it has flouride in it, because the little ones tend to ingest or "eat" it anyway. The most important thing is to get them comfortable with brushing (even a dry toothbrush is fine) or even chewing on a toothbrush (great for teething also). Also, it's important to get them seeing a dentist regularly so that they're not afraid when they're older.

I have found that Melaleuca provides wonderful starter toothpaste and toothbrushes, along with other great products for your little one! I shared it with my adopted granddaughter. She loves it!

Working at Home to Live a Healthy Life

Hi D., I was a dental hygienist for over 24 years, and I recommend the soft brush and the smallest dot of toothpaste. Whatever your child can tolerate as far as flavor is fine. Some kids have a hard time spitting out the paste then they swallow it. You don't want too much toothpaste going in their tummies. Taste the oraljel and see what it tastes like, try some other as you can get a sample or from the dentist.
Ask the dentist what the flouride levels are in your area and get some advice from them.
The most important thing is to brush the plaque off the teeth and reduce milk, juice and NO sodas!!!
goodluck, D.


My kids' dentist said that whichever tooth paste I choose is fine, but she prefers a regular kid size tooth brush (with bristles) for my 19 months old because she has all the molars. The finger brush does not clean as well once their molars are in.

My kids' ped recommended flouride tooth paste (kid kind, without other whitening and such for adults). Put a really tiny amount (their pinky nail size) till they know how to rince out. She said that it's important to use flouride if my husband and I have any decays, which we do:-)

My son just turned 2, and our pediatric dentist told us not to use toothpaste. The brushing is the important part, and they don't need toothpaste at this age. They also don't need flouride. Good luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.