Children and Fluoride Toothpaste

Your child’s health and happiness is your top priority, and at Perfect Smile Tulsa, we share that concern. We strictly adhere to all American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines to ensure that our patients of all ages have healthy, lasting smiles. Recently, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs came up with a standardized recommendation for the amount of fluoride toothpaste little ones should use.

This is a big deal because before now, the AAPD, ADA  and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have all offered different recommendations for the use of fluoride toothpaste in children. Ultimately, it was guesswork to determine which recommendation to follow.

 

Appropriate Use of Fluoride Toothpaste in Children

The new ruling states that children under three should use a smear (approximately the size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste, while children three to six years old should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

The standard recommendation is to begin brushing your child’s teeth with the above suggested amounts of toothpaste twice a day as soon as their first teeth appear. Caregiver assistance is recommended until the child reaches eight years old and has learned best tooth-brushing practices.

The Dangers of Too Much Fluoride

Overuse of fluoride toothpaste in younger children can lead to fluorosis, a condition in which the tooth enamel becomes mottled, streaked and aesthetically damaged. The age group with the highest risk of flourosis is between one and four years old. After the age of eight, children are no longer at risk. It is important to follow the guidelines above as well as those of your dentist to avoid fluorosis and other issues associated with dental hygiene.

Instilling good dental hygiene practices in children should start at an early age. By teaching smart flossing and brushing techniques, you are setting your little one up for a lifetime of good health.

Author
Mark M. Davis, DDS General and Cosmetic Dentist in Tulsa since 1982

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