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19 Answers

My 3 yr old won’t spit out his toothpaste. He started a few weeks ago and I dont know how to get him to stop swallowing. I told him he will make his tummy sick etc but hasn’t worked. Any suggestions would be great.


Posted anonymously, 12th August 2014


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  • Unless they are eatting tubes full I wouldn’t worry.


  • all kids do. it’s ok


  • Kiddy toothpaste is safe to swallow. I’m sure in time he’ll learn to stop swallowing


  • He’s still young. You could make homemade toothpaste from coconut oil & bakingsoda (you can add some raw vanilla powder for taste), that’s totally harmless when they eat it !


  • Don’t worry – they will grow out of it, and like the other suggestions here, get something natural and use smaller dose on their little toothbrush.


  • My under 2 does this, hasn’t learnt the art of spitting yet. You can get organic fluoride free toothpaste if you are worried about too much fluoride in his body. Otherwise maybe a sticker reward chart, trip to the dentist or a chat about how he used to do the right thing like a big boy and what has caused this change


  • for my 2 year old I always use jack n jill natural toothpaste – it is safe for them to swallow (although you still don’t encourage it). It’s available online through a variety of stores but not sure where you can buy it in a physical shop.


  • I think they just grow out of it. Mine are 3 & 4 and still do it but nowhere as much. Just buy fluoride free toothpaste for him.


  • Children’s toothpastes have a lower fluoride concentration so maybe try that or organic toothpastes until he learns to spit it out properly.


  • Try and minimise the tooth paste!


  • My 5 year old daughter is the same – she loves it. But I love the ideas of spitting on a toy or putting a smiley face or sticker in the sink. I might give that a go!


  • Our local community nurse told us that it’s such a small amount that they use that it’s not an issue if they swallow it. The main difference between adult toothpaste and children’s toothpaste is there is less fluoride in children’s toothpaste.


  • you can buy tooth pate just for children and all my lot did it when they where little. I use to get banana floured sugar free tooth paste for the kids. Also make sure he /you put only a small dot of tooth paste and if he is doing it that himself than watch over him or put the tooth paste up where he can not get it and you have to
    Also if it really worries talk to you GP about it and even your chemist about it


  • Swallowing toothpaste won’t poison him however too much fluoride can damage his developing adult teeth so its important to stick to a toothpaste that is age appropriate & get him to spit it out. Other MoMs ideas of getting him to spit on a toy etc sounds like a fun way to get him to comply


  • Either go back to using no toothpaste or using children’s toothpaste (gentler on tums).


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