Study: U.S. Kids Use Too Much Tooth Paste. How Much is Too Much and Why Is It Important?

U.S. parents can add one more task to their daily agenda - monitoring the quantity of the toothpaste their kid is using. Here is why.

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The U.S. children have been using too much toothpaste to brush their teeth, and it could bring certain health risks, a recently-published study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found out.

CDC invited 5,157 U.S. parents or legal guardians of kids age 3 to 15 to participate in the survey. All of them filled in a questionnaire regarding their kids' mouth hygiene, including when they started brushing their teeth, how often they do that and how much toothpaste they use. The study found out that nearly 40 percent of the toddlers aged 3-6 used too much toothpaste. Both CDC and the American Dental Association advised that kids in this age group should use a pea-size amount of paste at most. Moreover, children below three should limit the usage of toothpaste to the size of a rice grain. 

Although health officials strongly recommend that everyone age 2 or older brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, they agree that the right amount of fluoride matters. Why?

Fluoride is a mineral that can be found in water and soil. Decades ago scientists found out that people whose drinking water was rich in fluoride also reported few cavities. Soon after that discovery, fluoride has been added to tap water, mouthwash, toothpaste, and other products for oral hygiene to significantly decrease the rates of tooth decay in the USA.

However, according to the latest scientific research, using an excessive amount of toothpaste could damage the enamel, as children tend to swallow too much fluoride until they master their brushing technique, CDC explained. The research team also added that it could also lead to dental fluorosis, white marks, and discoloration of teeth.

The CDC also proved a definite trend among the U.S. children and adolescents to pay significant attention to their daily preventive dental hygiene. However, CDC concluded that the implementation of its recommendations was still not optimal. In the future, the organization would focus on preventive care and education of parents and caregivers about recommended toothbrushing practices to ensure maximum effect.

As for the recommended age of introducing children to tooth brushing, The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommended the age of two. However, a previous survey conducted by the CDC revealed that nearly 80 percent of the kids start brushing their teeth after they turn one. 

In addition to that, some dental associations recommend applying a small amount of fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth start to poke out. The experts also encourage parents to supervise their little ones closely since they master the right technique of brushing their teeth. 

Do you agree with the statement that parents should closely monitor children while taking their first steps in brushing their teeth or you would rather give them privacy?