Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Medical | By

Many small kids in the USA are using too much toothpaste

Many small kids in the USA are using too much toothpaste

Note that this is the time when permanent teeth are being formed.

In addition, the study found that although experts recommend no more than a pea-sized amount, about 40 percent of kids aged three to six used a brush that was full or half-full of toothpaste.

What is fluoride and why is the major ingredient in toothpaste?

It must be noted that fluoride is a mineral, which is found in water and soil.

A pediatric dentist in Chicago, Mary Hayes told Daily Mail that "Fluoride is an incredible benefit but it must be used carefully". More than 70 years ago, researchers had discovered that human beings whose drinking water had more fluoride naturally also had fewer cavities. Additionally, participants were not asked to specify whether the toothpaste had fluoride. The main problem is ingesting too much fluoride while the teeth are still developing.

How was the experiment carried out?

Overuse of toothpaste puts many young American children at increased risk for splotchy or streaky teeth when they're older, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey finds.

"Children aged three years should use a smear the size of a rice grain, and children aged three years should use no more than a pea-sized amount (0.25 grams) until age six years, by which time the swallowing reflex has developed sufficiently to prevent inadvertent ingestion", researchers, led by oral health specialist Gina Thornton-Evans from the National Centre for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, explain in the new CDC report.

The study involved nearly 1,700 children in that age range found that about 38 percent of them used more than the recommended amount of toothpaste.

"Dr. Alene Marie D'Alesio, chief of pediatric dentistry at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, said that problems following brushing guidelines often arise from parents not being present alongside their children when they are brushing".

The CDC wants parents to take charge of the amount of toothpaste their child has on their toothbrush, as "supervision is emphasized as a critical role for the parent or caregiver as the child first begins using a toothbrush and toothpaste".

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 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".

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