Can Toothpaste Be Swallowed?

As a parent, you want your child to learn and understand the value of keeping his teeth and gums healthy and clean.

But at the same time, you put your little one’s safety and wellbeing as your top priority. That includes checking the products you use at home.

Take toothpaste, for example.

Kids can sometimes accidentally swallow toothpaste. Perhaps, your little one hasn’t learned how to spit. Or maybe the toothpaste’s flavor’s yummy and appetizing to your child.

Should you be worried if your kid swallows toothpaste? Can toothpaste be swallowed without causing harm?

If you want to know if toothpaste is safe for your children, it is helpful to know its ingredients.

What's toothpaste made of?
What is toothpaste made of

If you inspect the labels of different toothpaste brands, some of these may seem unfamiliar.

Listed here are some of the most common toothpaste ingredients and why they are used.


Glycerol is used in toothpaste to:

  • Prevent it from drying out. 
  • Give it that familiar texture. 
  • Make it easier for the toothpaste to come out smoothly from its packaging.

You can also find glycerol in a variety of food products, like peanut butter and yogurt.


Sorbitol is a sweetener, often used as a sugar substitute by people with diabetes. But unlike normal sugar, the ingredient does not cause the formation of cavities.

In toothpaste, the ingredient is used both as a sweetener and as a binder.

Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate removes stains, plaque, and surface stains from the teeth.

Sodium lauryl sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a type of detergent that causes the toothpaste to foam.


Fluoride is a type of mineral that is added to toothpaste to help fight and prevent tooth decay.

The mineral also helps make teeth harder and resilient against acids.

Many experts agree that fluoride is an unnecessary toothpaste ingredient. For most people, the fluoride added to their drinking water is more than enough.

Here at AutoBrush, we take pride in providing customers a safer alternative to fluoride toothpaste. Instead of fluoride, our toothpaste uses xylitol, a type of sweetener made from non-GMO corn. Xylitol provides protection against bacteria and cavities without the harmful effects of fluoride.

Is fluoride harmful when swallowed?

Fluoride is interesting for a variety of reasons.

This mineral is essential for the dental health of kids and adults, helping prevent problems like cavities and tooth decay while strengthening tooth enamel.

Aside from toothpaste, fluoride is added to the water to boost oral health.

Does that mean that it's safe to swallow toothpaste? That depends on the amount of toothpaste swallowed. Or, as the adage goes, the dose makes the poison.

Dentists discourage people, especially young kids, from swallowing toothpaste because its fluoride content can cause the condition known as Fluorosis.

Fluorosis occurs when there is a significant amount of fluoride in the blood. Left unchecked, Fluorosis can cause the appearance of permanent white lines on the teeth's surface.

In severe cases, Fluorosis can cause the teeth to crumble.

Swallowing toothpaste for sustained periods can also lower the amount of magnesium and calcium in the body.

However, if your child swallows a small amount of toothpaste, you needn't worry about bad side effects.

Swallowing a small amount of toothpaste will not cause long-term harm, and there is no need to call for help from the Poison Control Center.

Is SLS harmful?

Sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS is responsible for giving toothpaste its familiar foam.

However, this common toothpaste ingredient can cause a few side effects in some people. These include mouth irritation and canker sores.

SLS is not necessary for cleaning your kids' teeth and gums. Although SLS-free toothpaste lacks the familiar foam, it can clean teeth just as well as other kinds of toothpaste that contain this ingredient.

What happens if your child swallows a large amount of toothpaste?

It is perfectly normal for kids to swallow a small amount of toothpaste while brushing their teeth. But what happens if they ingest large amounts?

Swallowing a large amount of toothpaste can lead to toothpaste overdose.

Among the most common signs of toothpaste overdose are:

  • stomach pain
  • weakness
  • diarrhea
  • breathing difficulties
  • drooling
  • slow heart rate
  • convulsions
  • vomiting

Don't panic if you catch your child eating toothpaste or if they show any of these symptoms. Do not make them throw up.

Remain calm and call either your local poison control center or a doctor. While waiting for help to arrive, give your child milk or water unless they exhibit toothpaste overdose signs.

When you bring your child to the emergency room, be ready to provide helpful information. These include:

  • your child's age and weight
  • the brand of toothpaste swallowed
  • the time your child swallowed toothpaste
  • how much toothpaste he swallowed.

With prompt treatment, your child can recover within two days after swallowing fluoride toothpaste.

If the toothpaste swallowed doesn't contain fluoride, you do not need to worry much as this type of toothpaste is considered non-toxic.

How can you prevent your kid from swallowing toothpaste?

Little boy brushes his teeth with baby toothpaste. Care of the oral cavity in childhood, caries of milk teeth Children's toothbrush.. swallowing toothpaste stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Worried that your little one might swallow a large amount of toothpaste?

There are a few things that you can try to prevent your kid from swallowing an excessive amount of toothpaste.

First, make sure that you put just the right amount of toothpaste. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a pea-size amount of toothpaste is more than enough for kids aged between three and six.

Second, you should always supervise your child while he is brushing his teeth.

If your kid is still a toddler, encourage them to hold their head at a slight downward angle. This will help ensure that extra toothpaste drips into the sink.

You can also try turning each brushing session into a game. For example, when it's time to spit out the toothpaste, you can use the sink for target practice.

Our worry-free alternative

AutoBrush Kids Foam Toothpaste

Something as simple as brushing your kid’s teeth shouldn’t induce stress nor panic. That’s why we’re proud of our toothpaste.

What's good about our toothpaste is that it's Fluoride-Free, SLS-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Non-GMO.

Our toothpaste doesn't have the ingredients that make traditional toothpaste harmful when swallowed.

You don’t have to worry if your kid swallows our toothpaste by accident. It's completely safe. However, we do not recommend intentionally ingesting it.

Plus, your little one will love the flavors of our toothpaste, available in bubblegum and strawberry.

Order one now.

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