Toothpaste | Illinois Poison Center 

My Child Ate Toothpaste

Mar 22, 2018
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Toothpaste                                                                     Post Date:  April 24, 2014



This information is applicable for small, unintentional ingestions only. If the child ingested more than one mouthful, is having symptoms, or if you are not positive of the exact substance or amount ingested, call your local Poison Center immediately 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a nurse, pharmacist or physician for recommendations specific to your situation. The call is free and confidential.


Toxicity Level:  Minimally toxic in a small ingestion (twice the amount used for brushing or less).


What It Is:  Most types of toothpaste contain fluoride.  Other ingredients can include sorbitol.


Toxicity:  Fluoride can be toxic in large amounts.  Toothpaste contains fluoride in a low concentration, so ingestion of a small amount is unlikely to cause toxicity.  If your child has ingested more than twice the amount used for brushing, call your local Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for advice specific to your situation.  The call is free and confidential.


Possible Symptoms of Overdose/Poisoning:  Nausea, vomiting


What You Should Do:
If your child ingested twice the amount used for brushing or less, give the child a few sips of water or milk and observe for nausea and vomiting.  Call the IPC if any symptoms occur.

If your child ingested more than twice the amount used for brushing, or you are unsure how much your child ingested, call 1-800-222-1222.  The poison center expert will ask you a few questions and then tell you if it is safe to watch the child at home or if you need to take him or her to the emergency room.  The call is free and confidential.


If your child has gotten this substance in their eyes, please view our Eye Exposure information.


If you have any further questions about this substance, or if your child is experiencing any symptoms, call the poison center experts who are available 24/7 via the free, confidential helpline: 1-800-222-1222.   Don’t guess, be sure! 


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