Published: Tue, February 05, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Kids using too much toothpaste says CDC

Kids using too much toothpaste says CDC

But while it might be hard to control how kids brush their teeth, it's important, researchers say - and not just in terms of toothpaste volume.

Many American children use more toothpaste than officially recommended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, published on Friday. Nearly 40% of children between the ages of 3 and 6 are using toothpaste to excess, per the study.

Although the scientists did not determine as to how many children developed streaked or spotty teeth because of using too much toothpaste, they suggested kids less than 3 years are only supposed to use a smear of toothpaste - the size of rice grain, reported Daily Mail.

Health care professionals and their organizations have an opportunity to educate parents and caregivers about recommended brushing practices to ensure that children are getting the maximum preventive effect by using the recommended amount of fluoride toothpaste under parental supervision.

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"You don't want them eating it like food", Hayes said. Even so, 60 percent of the children brushed for the recommended twice a day.

"What's really happening is that parents are following the rules of brushing twice a day, but they might not always be there", paediatric dentist Alene Marie D'Alesio from the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, who wasn't involved in the study, told The New York Times. This can cause dental fluorosis, white marks and discolouration of teeth. However, the CDC continues to recommend that parents wait to introduce fluoride toothpaste to children until they turn 2.

Brushing with too much toothpaste can damage enamel, since children could swallow too much fluoride while their teeth are developing, the CDC says.

The new report looked at the brushing and toothpaste use of around 5,157 children between 2013 and 2016. That led to efforts to add fluoride to tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash and other products. More than 70 years ago, researchers had discovered that human beings whose drinking water had more fluoride naturally also had fewer cavities. This is mainly because of the excess fluoride that is swallowed by children in the toothpaste.

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