Children Shouldn't Use More Toothpaste Than Officially Recommended, Says CDC

Faith Castro
February 5, 2019

Too many young kids are using too much toothpaste, increasing their risk of streaky or splotchy teeth when they get older, according to a government survey released Thursday. This can cause dental fluorosis, white marks and discolouration of teeth. Additionally, it's unknown whether or not the toothpaste reported was fluoride or non-fluoride.

The CDC also found that about one-third of kids only brushed their teeth once a day instead of the recommended twice daily.

For the study, the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included parents of more than 5,000 kids ages three to 15. Stanford Children's Health's website noted that regardless of the brand, as long as the toothpaste contains fluoride, it should be enough to support regular dental health practices. In kids 3 to 6, about 12 % used a smear, 49.2% used a pea-dimension quantity, 20.6% used a half load, and 17.8% used a full amount. Nearly 40% of children between the ages of 3 and 6 are using toothpaste to excess, per the study. Children under 3 are only supposed to use a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice.

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Young kids may push for independence in brushing their teeth, but kids' toothpaste tastes sweet. Pediatric dentist further said, "You don't want them eating toothpaste like food".

The CDC also found that almost 80 percent of 3 to 15-year-olds started brushing their teeth later than advised, which is when the first tooth grows out. Parents should be squeezing no more than a pea-size amount of toothpaste on their children's toothbrushes, according to the CDC and American Dental Association.

Fluoride use could help keep away from tooth rot, however the CDC recommended kids to start utilizing fluoride toothpaste at two years old to anticipate unintentional ingestion of fluoride and the potential danger of dental fluorosis. That led to efforts to add fluoride to tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash and other products. Parents might have misremembered how much toothpaste kids used when they were younger. The main problem is ingesting too much fluoride while the teeth are still developing.

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