For all the intense research parents do on the myriad of children's toothpastes available on the market, cost is the least of all concerns.
Apparently, toothpastes specially formulated and marketed as children's toothpaste are twice the price of toothpastes adults use, albeit they both contain the same levels of fluoride, one research reveals.
Children's toothpaste are generally presumed to contain less amounts of fluoride as the compound can possibly stain the kids' teeth. It is also believed to lead to abdominal pain, cramps and other health issues on consumption. Parents are also of the view that it's safer and healthier to buy toothpastes particularly made for children, hence they are ready to pay the extra price.
However, health experts from the Dental Health foundation, National Health Security (NHS) and Public Health England, all assert that the right amount of fluoride is perfectly alright for usage. They explain that the benefits of fluoride, such as prevention of tooth decay, is vital and cannot be overlooked. This counterbalances the minor health risks involved with fluoride intake.
"There's no need to buy special 'children's toothpaste' brands," voices the NHS. "In fact, some of them don't have enough fluoride in them to help prevent tooth decay."
Although they contain the same paste and fluoride content as the standard version, children's toothpastes that feature popular cartoon characters cost the highest, which is a cause for concern for Kris Coomaraswamy, lecturer in pediatric dentistry at the University of Birmingham.
"Children's toothpaste should be the same price as adult paste," says Coomaraswamy. "We should be encouraging parents to get kids to brush and not put a financial barrier in the way. It is quite safe to use adult toothpaste on even the youngest children, provided you only smear a small amount."
According to health records and data from the Health and Social Care Information Center, children in the age group of 5 to 9 years old are largely admitted to hospital for tooth extraction, owing to decay and rotten teeth.
The figures are rising at a rapid rate. In the years 2014 to 2015 alone, more than 33,700 children aged under 10 were admitted to the hospital for the aforementioned teeth extraction.
Toothpaste manufacturers, on the other hand, imply that the hike in price is due to the higher costs involved in making these kiddie toothpastes.
"Children's milk teeth are 50 percent thinner so our children's toothpaste has low abrasivity compared to our standard pastes to meet this need," said one of the leading global toothpaste makers.
However, the alarming statistics speaks for itself, and it's time we took a hold of this toothed situation.
Photo: Make Less Noise | Flickr