Kids Are Using Too Much Toothpaste With Fluoride, CDC Says

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The CDC also recommends parents do not introduce their children to fluoride toothpaste until they turn 2.

Fluorosis is basically a condition that affects your teeth caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during the first 8 years of life.

Note that this is the time when permanent teeth are being formed. This exceeding amount of toothpaste could potentially exceed the daily recommendation of fluoride intake and also contribute to dental fluorosis.

Fluoride is a mineral found in water and soil. More than 70 years ago, researchers had discovered that human beings whose drinking water had more fluoride naturally also had fewer cavities. That led to efforts to add fluoride to tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash and other products.

You might think too much toothpaste is better than too little, but the CDC warns that kids using adult-sized toothpaste portions comes with its own perils.

"Analysis of 2013-16 data found that over 38 per cent of children aged three to six years used more toothpaste than recommended by the CDC and other professional organisations", Xinhua news agency reported citing the report.

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"Fluoride is a wonderful benefit but it needs to be used carefully", said Dr. Mary Hayes, a pediatric dentist in Chicago.

How was the experiment carried out?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention findings were based on a survey of parents of more than 5,000 kids ages 3 to 15.

"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.

Young kids may push for independence in brushing their teeth, but kids' toothpaste tastes sweet, according to the team. "We want the parent to be in charge of the toothbrush and the toothpaste", noted Hayes.

The CDC doesn't recommend children start using toothpaste until the age of two.

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