Children under six are using too much toothpaste which is causing pitting, stains, and cavities in developing teeth. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending changes to the amount of toothpaste used by children. Additionally, the CDC suggests all parents closely monitor their children to ensure they do not ingest too much fluoride.
A study published by the CDC indicates that 38% of children use more toothpaste than necessary. The study also found that 80% of children started brushing their teeth later than recommended.
According to the CDC, too much toothpaste increases pitting, discoloration, and cavities in the enamel of developing teeth. The study conducted shows that most children practice good dental hygiene, but the amount of toothpaste used is problematic.
Due to the study results, the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children follow their guidelines to avoid long-term damage to teeth.
Teeth brushing should start around six months when the first teeth erupt through the gums. However, fluoride toothpaste should not be introduced until the child turns two years old.
When a child reaches age two, the CDC recommends children less than three smears the size of a grain of rice of toothpaste. For children aged 3-6, a pea-sized smear of toothpaste is recommended for brushing. After age 6, children can use larger amounts because they can spit out the leftover toothpaste.
To help reduce tooth decay and better dental hygiene, the CDC is partnering with AAP to target pregnant women. Through their outreach, they will educate the pregnant women on proper dental care for their babies.
The CDC pointed out that most children are doing a great job at brushing their teeth, but need help to determine the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
“The findings suggest that children and adolescents are engaging in appropriate daily preventive dental health practices; however, implementation of recommendations is not optimal.
Careful supervision of fluoride intake improves the preventive benefit of fluoride, while reducing the chance that young children might ingest too much fluoride during critical times of enamel formation of the secondary teeth.Health care professionals and their organizations have an opportunity to educate parents and caregivers about recommended toothbrushing practices to ensure that children are getting the maximum preventive effect by using the recommended amount of fluoride toothpaste under parental supervision.”
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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