Finding the right toothpaste for babies and toddlers is tough! Store shelves are lined with sparkly blue toothpaste filled with dye, chemicals, and unfamiliar colors. Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste (affiliate link) founders Rachel and Justin started selling fluoride-free toothpaste in Australia after searching for the right care for their own kids’ teeth.
This post was originally published on Navigating Parenthood when we were “Savvy Every Day” back in 5/23/2014. This is not a sponsored post and does not contain medical/dental advice but it may contain affiliate links (at no cost to you).
When to use
Once baby’s teeth start sprouting up, you’ve passed the point of cleaning baby’s gums with a washcloth, and it’s time to transition to a safe tooth cleaner. This is a hard step for parents because water is a known/safe substance to clean an infant’s teeth while tooth gels are the great unknown. This is where Skin Deep’s handy data and The Environmental Working Group’s website come in. If you don’t already know about searching EWG for safe products definitely look up the website. At EWG, you’ll find safety ratings on commercial, natural, and organic products based on the ingredients inside. Jack N’ Jill toothpaste has a 1-2 toxicity rating on the site, meaning it’s fairly safe.
Why does Jack & Jill toothpaste have a “fair” rating? They use natural ingredients instead of chemicals. The toothpaste is SLS-free, sugar-free, dye-free, fluoride-free, and free of preservatives. What’s better than not having all those things in your little one’s toothpaste? Having calendula in the toothpaste to soothe baby’s gums (huge help when baby is teething). The company also created its products with the environment and your kids’ future in mind — toothpaste containers are BPA-free and recyclable. Even the toothbrushes are compostable (brush handle) and biodegradable (brush head). Many people have heard to change toothbrushes every six months, or when the bristles start to warp, but Jack N’ Jill recommends every 8 weeks and after an illness. They even tell you how to properly store the toothbrush and toothpaste!
Jack N’ Jill toothbrushes and cups are the perfect size for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. The toothpaste has Xylitol instead of fluoride, which is best for infants and babies (though there’s debate among both parents and dentists about when to introduce fluoride), as well as little ones who still don’t know how to spit yet. Dentists stand behind fluoride, and not all agree on the right age to start using a gel or toothpaste with fluoride in it, so I would see a few pediatric dentists and do your research on that. Personally, I waited on fluoride until my daughter was about 2 years old. After that, we went with a natural strawberry-flavored fluoride toothpaste since she was able to spit it out. Fluoride-free toothpaste like Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste is also great for older kids who can spit out toothpaste (like my daughter) who need to stay away from fluoride, or want to brush teeth between fluoride brushings.
Since my daughter (S) is used to the strawberry toothpaste she’s grown to love, when I had her try Jack N’ Jill’s raspberry flavor for the first time she didn’t care for it. She just told me that she wants strawberry. She informed me that both kinds of toothpaste smell really good, but that she didn’t want to brush with them. Jack N’ Jill does make a strawberry-flavored toothpaste, but I dropped the ball and didn’t get that one at the time of this review. (2021 update: My now 2.5-YO loves the strawberry version so much that she has run off with it and applies it to her toothbrush just to eat!)
I left the toothpaste and toothbrush out for a few days and noticed S gaining interest. She really likes the look of the packaging and loves the overnight case for the set. (As soon as we got everything in the mail, S wanted to hold her case, toothbrush, and toothpaste tubes in the car (and everywhere). She loves the kids on the front of the case and the little purple hippo on her toothbrush!) So after S eyed the toothpaste on the counter a bit more, I asked if she wanted to try the banana flavor. S let me try brushing her teeth with it then told me she wanted strawberry. Hmm.
The next day, I told her I wanted to take a picture of her holding her new toothbrush, and needed a photo of the brush with the toothpaste on it to show everyone that it was clear because it was dye-free. This got my preschooler involved — she was happy to help mommy. While posing for the picture S began brushing her teeth with the banana toothpaste (she loves getting to brush her teeth all by herself) and telling me how delicious it is. Aha! It’s all about how you approach things with little ones.
Since my daughter is a bit older, and I do already brush her teeth with fluoride, you may be wondering why I still wanted her to try Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste. We tried it to share with you, but also because S likes to brush her own teeth after I brush them, but I won’t let her use her toothpaste because fluoride toothpaste twice a day (when I brush her teeth) is enough exposure for me personally (every parent is different). I like to have a fluoride-free toothpaste handy for S to use when she wants to practice brushing without my assistance so I know if she doesn’t brush it all out properly it’s still safe, and she isn’t getting excessive amounts of fluoride. We also carry this fluoride-free toothpaste around during the day in case she needs to brush her teeth in the middle of the day after a sweet treat or snack that gets caught in the biting surfaces of her teeth.
Now, S uses the banana toothpaste (her favorite flavor, though I still like the raspberry) every time she gets to brush her teeth all by herself. If you have an infant, baby, toddler, preschooler, or even big kid, I recommend checking out Jack N’ Jill for yourself.
P.S. How adorable are the Jack N’ Jill Tooth Keepers for when your little one loses a tooth?!