As your child gets older, you may want to change the toothpaste you use to reflect their age. While this may not be a problem for some children, others may resist moving up the toothpaste chain and may refuse to use a new type of toothpaste. What can you do if your child doesn't want to stop using their baby toothpaste?
Check For Flavour Issues
Toothpastes designed for older children may have stronger or more pronounced tastes than those targeted at younger kids. If your child says that they don't like the taste of their new toothpaste, this may be the issue for them. For example, minty toothpastes typically become more minty as you head towards the adult toothpaste scale and, if your child dislikes the taste of mint, they may not like a new toothpaste that has a stronger mint flavour.
To get around this problem, you can try toothpastes with alternative flavours. In some cases, you may be able to scale down mintiness by going for milder mint brands; alternatively, you could look for fruit-flavoured toothpastes or even brands that don't have a particular flavouring.
Check For Growing Up Worries
In some cases, kids don't want to step up to a more grown up toothpaste because they want to hang on to their familiar baby things. If your child is feeling a little worried about the world and their role in it as they grow, they may not want to let go of the toothpaste they've been using for as long as they can remember. This may be a particular problem if you have a new baby in the house – jealousy and anxiety may make some kids resist the need to grow up and stop being the baby of the family.
You may find that it helps to include your child in the choice of the new toothpaste they'll now use. Gentle encouragement may also help them make the switch. If changing toothpastes is a really big problem for your child and they stop wanting to brush their teeth, then you may need to put the toothpaste switch on to the back burner for the time being until they feel more comfortable with it. It's better to use a baby toothpaste than none at all.
If you can't find a toothpaste flavour to suit your child or if your child refuses to let go of their baby brand, it's worth having a chat with a dentist to see if they can give you any advice. This may not be a long-term problem; however older children who continue to use a baby toothpaste may be missing out on valuable fluoride content and it's important that your dentist is aware of this.