The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions that 28 percent of children have at least one cavity by age 3 — and nearly half of all children have at least one cavity by age 5.
You can credit the fluoride in the toothpaste with doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Fluoride helps prevent cavities from forming in teeth.
After your child eats lunch or a snack or drinks anything other than water, there’s a little residue left behind in their mouth. Bacteria in the mouth will feed on that residue, creating an acid that will wear away at the enamel on the teeth. The fluoride protects the teeth from that kind of potential damage.
In previous years, it was sometimes recommended to avoid fluoridated toothpaste before 2 years of age. But guidelines have changed to provide better cavity prevention.
The AAP recommends using a tiny bit of toothpaste with fluoride every day as soon as your child’s teeth begin to come in.