What to Do When Your Child Wants to Eat His Toothpaste

Most kid-friendly toothpastes are made out of flavors that will encourage your child to want to brush – strawberry, watermelon, bubble gum, and many more. Unfortunately, your child won’t understand that brushing involves scrubbing your teeth and spitting out the excess rather than swallowing that delicious paste that they enjoy so much.

Here are some steps to take if your child wants to eat his toothpaste:

  • Apply a minimal amount. One of the best ways to prevent eating toothpaste is to only apply a tiny amount, and when storing the paste, make sure it is out of his reach.
  • Remind him to spit. Every time that your child brushes his teeth, remind him to spit instead of swallowing, and also make sure he thoroughly rinses out his mouth to remove any excess residue. While the amount of paste that is on his brush will be perfectly safe to swallow, spitting will reinforce the concept that the toothpaste isn’t something to be eaten.
  • Choose a stronger flavor. If your child likes his toothpaste flavor too much, he may be more apt to swallow it. Try changing to a stronger version that he might not appreciate as much in order to discourage swallowing. Just make sure that any variety that you choose is safe for your child’s age. You don’t want to turn your child off of brushing completely.
  • Make brushing a family affair. When it comes to brushing your teeth, be sure to lead your child by example. You can make brushing a family activity by brushing at the same time as your child and encouraging him to imitate you when you spit.

If you are concerned about the amount of toothpaste that your child has consumed, be sure to call the poison control center or the emergency number listed on the tube.

Please contact us if you have any questions about preventing your child from eating toothpaste.

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