Published: Tue, February 05, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Is your child using too much toothpaste?

Is your child using too much toothpaste?

In addition, the study found that although experts recommend no more than a pea-sized amount, about 40 per cent of kids aged three to six used a brush that was full or half-full of toothpaste."Fluoride is a wonderful benefit but it needs to be used carefully", Mary Hayes, a pediatric dentist in Chicago was quoted by Daily Mail. New research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that despite warnings on the inadvertent consumption of too much fluoride, many kids are still using more toothpaste than they should every time they brush. Nearly 40% of children between the ages of 3 and 6 are using toothpaste to excess, per the study.

Children ages three or younger should be using a "smear-the CDC's recommended amount-which is about the size of a grain of rice".

Of course, as parents of young children would readily understand, kids don't always do what you want them to - and tooth brushing is no exception. The CDC and the American Dental Association recommend that children in that age group should use no more than a pea-size amount of paste.

Further, over one-third of children (34.2 percent) analysed in the study only brushed their teeth once per day, not twice as is recommended to reduce the risk of cavities. The CDC additionally noticed that nearly 80 percent of kids ageing 3 to 15 years began brushing later than the suggested age of a half year.

Health officials recommend that all people drink fluoridated water, and that everyone 2 or older brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. While fluorosis does not affect overall dental health, it can lead to streaks on the teeth.

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The new report looked at the brushing and toothpaste use of around 5,157 children between 2013 and 2016.

Brushing with too much toothpaste can damage enamel, as children could swallow too much fluoride while their teeth are developing, the CDC says.

Limitations of this survey were that parents self reported the brushing habits of their kids and were not observed first hand. That led to efforts to add fluoride to tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash and other products.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring chemical found in food, drinking water, and toothpaste that helps to reduce the incidence of tooth decay.

Shenkin said the message that parents should take away is not that they should stop using fluoride toothpaste.

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