Updated on February 22, 2024
12 min read

Best Kids’ Toothpaste

NewMouth is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you purchase something using one of our links. Advertising Disclosure.

Our Top Recommendations for Kids’ Toothpaste

  1. Kinder Karex Kids ToothpasteBest Overall (and Best for Babies)
  2. Burst Kids Toothpaste with FluorideBest with Fluoride
  3. Jack N’ Jill Natural Kids ToothpasteBest Organic
  4. Dr. Bob Unflavored ToothpasteBest Unflavored
  5. NOW Xyliwhite Toothpaste GelBest with Xylitol
  6. Boka Natural ToothpasteBest for the Whole Family
  7. Tom’s of Maine Fluoride Children’s ToothpasteBest on a Budget

Regarding kids’ oral hygiene, a high-quality toothpaste is just as important as a good toothbrush. Toothpaste helps disrupt harmful bacteria and protects your child from tooth decay and gum disease.

Your child’s age, needs, and preferences can all affect your choice of toothpaste. It’s also important to know what ingredients to look for (and what to avoid).

There are dozens of children’s toothpastes on the market. They vary widely in ingredients, price, and quality. We’ve compiled a list of seven excellent options.

In addition, we’ll go into detail about important factors to consider when shopping for toothpaste, including ingredients such as fluoride.

7 Best Toothpastes for Kids (2024 Review)

We’ve put each product in its own category to help you choose the best toothpaste for your child. Whatever your needs or budget, we have a recommendation that will work for you.

Here are the top seven toothpastes for kids:

1. Kinder Karex Kids Toothpaste – Best Overall 

Kinder

We chose Kinder Karex as our top pick due to its safety for kids of all ages, including babies. Kinder Karex is a German brand with extensive research to back its choice of ingredients.1 They also have to comply with European Union and ISO standards.

Kinder Karex uses hydroxyapatite (HAP) as an alternative to fluoride. This makes it effective at strengthening and protecting your child’s teeth while being safe to swallow.

Note that this toothpaste has a mild mint flavor. While many kids and adults liked it, a few reviewers noted that their kids didn’t enjoy the minty taste. If you’d rather avoid mint, you may want to try one of our other recommendations.

2. Burst Kids Toothpaste with Fluoride – Best with Fluoride

BURSTkids Marshmallow Sparkle

Burst Kids is our top choice for kids’ fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is the main ingredient. It also contains sorbitol and xylitol to sweeten it and help fight cavities.

Burst toothpaste flavors include marshmallow (with a hint of mint) and bubblegum. They also have a non-fluoride option in strawberry that contains nano-hydroxyapatite (nano-HAP) instead, which has been shown to remineralize and repair teeth.

Multiple reviews praised the flavor of both Burst’s fluoride and fluoride-free options as good choices for picky kids.

3. Jack N’ Jill Natural Kids Toothpaste – Best Organic

Jack N Jill Natural Kids

Jack N’ Jill Natural Kids Toothpaste is designed to be hypoallergenic and safe if accidentally swallowed. It contains:

  • 40% xylitol for sweetness and anti-cavity protection
  • No fluoride
  • No sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
  • Organic flavors

This toothpaste has the widest variety of flavors of any of the products on our list. The eight flavors include milkshake, bubblegum, and several fruits. There is also a flavor-free option.

One downside of Jack N’ Jill is that the toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride or HAP. This means it might not offer the remineralization benefits these ingredients provide (fluoride-free toothpaste often contains HAP as an alternative).

4. Dr. Bob Unflavored Toothpaste – Best Unflavored

Dr. Bob Unflavored Toothpaste

For kids with taste sensitivities, we recommend Dr. Bob Unflavored Toothpaste. This toothpaste uses fluoride to strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay. It also contains xylitol, which also helps protect teeth from cavities.

Some children have sensory issues that make it difficult to get them to use flavored toothpaste. Dr. Bob may be the right choice if you’re looking for fluoride toothpaste without mint or other flavorings.

5. NOW Kids Xyliwhite Toothpaste Gel – Best with Xylitol

NOW Solutions Xyliwhite™ Toothpaste

NOW Kids Xyliwhite provides great value for your money if you want xylitol-based toothpaste. It uses 25% xylitol and sorbitol for a sweet flavor and anti-cavity benefits.

Although Jack N’ Jill also uses xylitol as its main cavity-fighting ingredient, NOW Xyliwhite is priced at $5.99 for a 3oz tube rather than $6.99 for 1.76oz. This makes it about half the cost per ounce.

However, like Jack N’ Jill, the xylitol-based formula means your child’s teeth won’t get the remineralization benefits of fluoride or HAP. NOW Xyliwhite also contains a small amount of tea tree oil, which some children may be sensitive to.

6. Boka Natural Toothpaste – Best for the Whole Family

Boka Ela Mint Toothpaste

If you’re looking for toothpaste suitable for kids and adults, we recommend Boka Natural Toothpaste. Boka uses nano-hydroxyapatite (nano-HAP) to remineralize teeth and protect them from sensitivity.

Boka’s formula is also free of sulfates (including SLS), parabens, and artificial flavors or colors. It comes in four flavors: Orange Cream, Ela Mint, Lemon Lavender, and Coco Ginger.

7. Tom’s of Maine Fluoride Children’s Toothpaste – Best on a Budget

Toms of Maine Childrens Toothpaste

If you’re looking for an effective toothpaste on a budget, you may want to try Tom’s of Maine Natural Fluoride Toothpaste.

At just $0.88/oz, this toothpaste has the lowest cost per ounce on our list. It also boasts the ADA Seal of Acceptance, partly due to its inclusion of fluoride to help prevent cavities.

Tom’s of Maine Fluoride Children’s Toothpaste is free of parabens and artificial preservatives. However, it does contain carrageenan and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can be irritants. This toothpaste isn’t safe to swallow.

Transform your smile with the best toothbrushes of 2024. Find your perfect brush here.

Why Trust Our Review?

NewMouth is a trusted online resource for comprehensive oral health information. We have researched and reviewed toothpastes and other oral hygiene products for over 3 years.

We have a dedicated team of medical writers, expert researchers, licensed dental professionals, and medical reviewers who create and oversee everything published on our site.

We ranked and classified the products featured in this article after extensive research on their ingredients, pricing, and verified customer reviews. We also incorporated feedback from our in-house medical review team.

These products cover a wide range of options for parents and kids who may have different needs, budgets, and preferences.

Brushing at Every Age

Here’s a general timeline for you to follow when brushing your child’s teeth:

  • Before teeth erupt — Use a soft, damp cloth or gauze pad to gently clean your child’s gums after feeding.
  • 6 months (or first tooth) — Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with water twice daily. You can also introduce toothpaste but use only a tiny, rice-sized smear. A toothpaste with no or low fluoride is recommended.
  • 2 years — At this point, you can begin to use fluoridated toothpaste. Ensure your child doesn’t swallow it. As before, just a tiny smear is needed.
  • 3 years — Now you can begin to use a bit more toothpaste. Aim for an amount about the size of a pea (this is also the amount you should use as an adult).
  • 3 to 8 years — During this time, you can show your child how to brush their teeth. However, don’t expect them to be able to do it all on their own. You may need to continue brushing for them to ensure their teeth get cleaned properly.
  • 8 years and up — Depending on your child, this is when they can be trusted to brush their teeth independently. Continue to coach and supervise them if needed.

Do Kids Need to Use a Fluoridated Toothpaste?

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel. It mimics and combines with the minerals in tooth enamel. This repairs damage caused by oral bacteria before it becomes decay.2

However, when deciding whether or not to use fluoridated toothpaste for your child, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Fluoridated water — Many parts of the world, including most of the United States, add fluoride to the local water supply. If your child is already getting fluoride from drinking water, additional fluoride from toothpaste may not provide additional benefits.3
  • Alternatives to fluoride — Some toothpastes use non-fluoride ingredients to protect the teeth. For example, they may contain hydroxyapatite, a mineral naturally found in tooth enamel. Other ingredients that can benefit oral health include xylitol, calcium, and arginine.
  • Your child’s age — Fluoride toothpaste isn’t recommended for children under 2 due to the risk of accidental swallowing or fluorosis.4,5

Experience the next level of flossing with 2024's cutting-edge water flossers. See our expert recommendations here.

Factors to Consider When Shopping for Children’s Toothpaste

There are several important factors to consider when looking for a good children’s toothpaste. 

Here’s a detailed look at what to keep an eye out for:

The American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance 

The American Dental Association (ADA) gives its Seal of Acceptance to toothpastes that have proven to be effective at preventing tooth decay. The ADA Seal of Acceptance is a good indicator of toothpaste quality and reliability.

However, while having the ADA Seal of Acceptance is a good sign, not having it doesn’t mean that the toothpaste won’t be safe or effective. The ADA requires specific standards.

For example, the ADA only accepts toothpastes that contain fluoride.6 This means hydroxyapatite toothpastes aren’t eligible for the Seal of Acceptance, even though hydroxyapatite has proven benefits like those of fluoride.7,8

Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral proven to benefit oral health. It mimics the structure of tooth enamel and binds to it, strengthening teeth and protecting them from decay.

Once your child is old enough to spit out their toothpaste (around 2 years old), fluoridated toothpaste can help keep their teeth healthy.

On the other hand, many cities add fluoride to their water. If your child drinks fluoridated water, they may already be getting its protective benefits.3 Ingesting too much fluoride can also lead to fluorosis or poisoning.

A great alternative to fluoride is hydroxyapatite. Tooth enamel is largely made of hydroxyapatite, and studies have shown it to be effective at strengthening teeth.7,8 Many toothpastes use it both to prevent cavities and protect teeth from sensitivity.

Flavoring

The flavor is another factor to consider when choosing a toothpaste for your child. The most common toothpaste flavor is mint. Mint provides a refreshing, cooling sensation that may make your mouth feel cleaner.9

However, a wide variety of toothpaste flavors are now available. Alternatives for kids who don’t enjoy mint include sweet or fruity flavors. Our list only includes products that use natural flavors, so you can avoid artificial flavors and still enjoy various options.

In addition, some children are sensitive to flavoring additives and may have difficulty using most toothpaste. For this reason, we also included unflavored toothpaste for kids in our list.

Ingredients to Avoid

Some ingredients often found in toothpaste are best avoided due to their potential negative effects. These include:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) — This chemical is sometimes added to toothpaste as a foaming agent. It can cause irritation when applied to the gums. A similar compound, sodium laureth sulfate, is sometimes used as a gentler alternative but is also an irritant.
  • Phthalates — Phthalates are compounds used to stabilize flavors or make plastic packaging more flexible. They’re known to be endocrine disruptors, meaning they disrupt your body’s natural hormones. This can play a role in various illnesses, including cancer and fertility issues.10,11
  • Parabens — Parabens are added to many personal care products as preservatives. Like phthalates, they can mimic estrogen and other hormones, potentially contributing to health problems.11
  • Artificial flavoring — Some artificial flavors may be endocrine disruptors. Not all artificial flavors are known to be harmful, but it’s easy to avoid them as a precaution.
  • Carrageenan — Carrageenan is an ingredient derived from seaweed, often used to thicken or stabilize toothpaste and food products. Some evidence links carrageenan to digestive problems, but more research is needed.12
  • Titanium dioxide — Titanium dioxide is added to some toothpastes to make them whiter. One review found little evidence of danger to humans, but it may be linked to certain cancers.13 We didn’t include any products containing this ingredient in our list.

Only one toothpaste on our list contains any of these ingredients. Tom’s of Maine contains both SLS and carrageenan.

Summary

Oral hygiene is crucial for children’s growth and development, and toothpaste is a key part of good oral hygiene. An effective toothpaste will help your child maintain healthy teeth and gums.

But with dozens of toothpaste brands available online, it can be hard to find the right choice for your child. We compiled this list of children’s toothpaste to help simplify things.

Our top choice overall is Kinder Karex. This toothpaste is designed to be safe for kids to swallow. It uses hydroxyapatite to remineralize tooth enamel and prevent cavities.

Whatever your budget or your child’s needs, we’re confident this list will help you choose the best toothpaste.

Smile brighter, fight cavities, freshen breath – 2024's best toothpastes deliver. See our expert picks here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should babies start using toothpaste?

When your baby’s first teeth come in, you can use a soft toothbrush and a bit of water to brush their teeth. Alternatively, you can use a soft, wet cloth to clean their teeth.

Between then and age 2, you can also begin using a tiny smear of toothpaste. With such a small amount (especially if the toothpaste is fluoride-free), you’ll minimize any risks from them accidentally swallowing it.

How much toothpaste should kids use?

Kids under 3 should use a tiny smear of toothpaste, no bigger than a grain of rice. Kids 3 and older (and adults) can use a slightly larger amount, about the size of a pea.

To keep your child from swallowing the toothpaste, it’s best to brush their teeth while they’re sitting upright rather than lying down.

When should children start using toothpaste with fluoride?

The CDC and other health organizations recommend waiting until age 2 to use toothpaste with fluoride.2 This is because it’s easy for babies to swallow the toothpaste, which can lead to fluorosis or fluoride poisoning.

Once your child is about 2, you can safely brush their teeth with a tiny smear of fluoridated toothpaste, no larger than a grain of rice.

Can adults use kids’ toothpaste, or vice versa?

There’s no one feature of children’s toothpaste that makes it inappropriate for adults. However, adults might not enjoy the flavor of kids’ toothpastes, and vice versa.

Adults and kids can often safely use each other’s toothpaste, with one important factor to consider—fluoride. Adult toothpaste with fluoride isn’t safe for babies and toddlers to swallow.

Fresher breath, healthier gums, stronger teeth – find it all in 2024's best mouthwashes. Explore the top picks here.

Last updated on February 22, 2024
13 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 22, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Why does Kinder Karex not contain fluoride?” Kinder Karex.
  2. Thornton-Evans, Gina, et al. “Use of Toothpaste and Toothbrushing Patterns Among Children and Adolescents — United States, 2013–2016.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019.
  3. Hausen, Hannu, et al. “Application of the high-risk strategy to control dental caries.” Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 2000.
  4. Fluoride Exposure and Human Health Risks: A Fact Sheet from the IAOMT.” International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), 2017.
  5. Aggeborn, Linuz, and Mattias Öhman. “The Effects of Fluoride in Drinking Water.” Journal of Political Economy, 2021.
  6. Toothpastes.” American Dental Association.
  7. Pepla, E, et al. “Nano-hydroxyapatite and its applications in preventive, restorative and regenerative dentistry: a review of literature.” Annali Di Stomatologia, 2014.
  8. Paszynska, Elzbieta, et al. “Impact of a toothpaste with microcrystalline hydroxyapatite on the occurrence of early childhood caries: a 1-year randomized clinical trial.” Scientific Reports, 2021.
  9. Pickering, Victoria. “Plant of the Month: Mint.” JSTOR Daily, 2020.
  10. La Merrill, Michele A., et al. “Consensus on the key characteristics of endocrine-disrupting chemicals as a basis for hazard identification.” Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 2020.
  11. Lauretta, Rosa, et al. “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: Effects on Endocrine Glands.” Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2019.
  12.  Borsani, Barbara, et al. “The Role of Carrageenan in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Allergic Reactions: Where Do We Stand?” Nutrients, 2021.
  13. Warheit, David B., and E. Maria Donner. “Risk assessment strategies for nanoscale and fine-sized titanium dioxide particles: Recognizing hazard and exposure issues.” Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2015.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram