What’s in your children’s toothpaste?

Children brushing teeth

Have you ever wondered what’s in your child’s toothpaste?

We recommend taking a look at the ingredients list before purchasing. In a recent article, the European Food Safety Authority said that a food colouring used in some toothpaste can no longer be ruled out as a cause of cancer.

The experts concluded that as a result E171, which is composed of a mix of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, could not be considered safe when used in food.

The food colouring E171 is used in many toothpastes, but mostly children’s toothpaste. Here is a list of some popular toothpastes that currently contain E171.

Aquafresh ‘Milk Teeth’ 0-2 years

Milk teeth

Aquafresh ‘Little Teeth’ – 3-5 years

Aqua fresh ‘Big Teeth’ – 6-8 years

Big teeth

Aqua fresh Advance – 9-12 years

Advance toothpaste

Sensodyne Pro-Namel – 6-12 years

Pro namel

Artificial sweeteners

It can be quite surprising when you realise how many artificial sweeteners and flavourings are added to children’s toothpaste.

The main reason artificial sweeteners are added to toothpastes is purely for the taste. Many toothpastes are sweet because they contain an artificial sweetener such as sodium saccharin, a form of saccharin.

Unlike sugar, saccharin doesn’t promote tooth decay. Some toothpastes contain xylitol, another type of sweetener known as a sugar alcohol. We are campaigning to remove all sweeteners from toothpaste.


It is important to use a toothpaste with the correct amount of Fluoride in as your children grow up.

Up to age two, you should use a fluoride toothpaste of 1,000 parts per million (ppm).

Above this then start to use a fluoride level of 1,350-1,500ppm.

Once they get adult teeth (usually from 6 onwards), they can start using adult toothpaste, which is around 1500 ppm fluoride.

Unsure on what toothpaste is best?

Ideally, a toothpaste that does not contain artificial colourings, flavourings, sweeteners or preservatives is best. There are some toothpastes out there that contain natural ingredients, like Greenpeople , Zendium or BrushBaby Toothpaste.

Greenpeople have an organic children’s mandarin & aloe vera toothpaste – with FLUORIDE.  Zendium has natural antibacterial enzymes to boost the mouth’s natural defences here.

Brushbaby has applemint and tutti frutti flavours.

Make sure you choose the Fluoride version as this helps harden your children’s teeth.

If you can, we advise you to provide your children with natural toothpastes from the very moment they have teeth. This way, their taste buds will adjust to the natural tastes instead of artificial ingredients from a young age.

Our friends over at Bow Lane Dental Group in Central London can help you find the best toothpaste for your child at their next check-up. Call them today on 020 7236 3600 to book a check-up, or visit their website here.

Don’t forget to recycle the tubes once you have finished rather than throw them in the household waste. We love doing our bit to stay as Eco-friendly as possible!

If you would like to find out more about artificial sweeteners, please click here. You’d be amazed at where they can be found!

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