Published: Tue, February 05, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Brushing with toothpaste too often can cause tooth decay

Brushing with toothpaste too often can cause tooth decay

Children shouldn't use more toothpaste than officially recommended, says CDC.

Brushing several times a day using toothpaste may not always be a good idea, according to the new study. Children younger than 3 should use only a smear of toothpaste, only the size of a rice grain. 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. Kids 3 to 6 are supposed to keep it to a pea-sized amount. However brushing with toothpaste is recommended by the ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as soon as the baby starts teething, at around 6 months.

While this data seems like a minor issue, the proponents of the study warned that because brushing one's teeth is a regular occurrence, with some doing it more than three times a day, the accumulation of fluoride can reach risky levels.

The study also found that nearly 80 percent of children aged between three and 15 years had started brushing their teeth later than the recommended age - which is when the first tooth emerges from around six months on, the CDC says. They add that this can be a concern because of excessive fluoride ingestion among the children. This can cause dental fluorosis, white marks and discoloration of teeth.


"The findings suggest that children and adolescents are engaging in appropriate daily preventive dental health practices", the authors write, "however, implementation of recommendations is not optimal". Brushing habits of about 5,100 kids have been included within the report primarily based on knowledge from 2013 to 2016. The CDC survey discovered that just about 80% of youngsters started cleaning after 1 year. Also, the survey didn't ask specifically about what kinds of toothpaste were used; not all kinds of children's toothpaste have fluoride in them.

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

Despite warnings on the inadvertent consumption of too much fluoride, many kids are still using more toothpaste than they should.

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