The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an important message for parents: your children may be using too much toothpaste, and can actually be dangerous for your oral health.
Children between the ages of 3 and 6 should not use more than a pea-sized amount for this age group, for American Dental Association (ADA). Children under the age of 3 should only use a smear the size of a grain of rice.
But according to a new CDC Report, many children are using much more than that.
For the new study, the researchers analyzed data from national surveys representative of parents with children between the ages of 3 and 15 that were collected between 2013 and 2016. In all, data for 5,157 children were included in the study.
The results showed that nearly 40% of children ages 3 to 6 are using more toothpaste than dentists recommend. In fact, about 60% of children between the ages of 3 and 15 years used a full toothpaste or half a toothbrush when brushing. In the age group 3 to 6 years old, 12% used the smear, 49.2% used the correct amount of pea size, 20.6% used half the toothbrush load and 17.8% used a load toothpaste.
"The results suggest that children and adolescents are engaging in appropriate preventive daily oral health practices," the authors write. "However, implementing recommendations is not ideal."
Toothpaste looks quite harmless, but wearing too much can cause problems.
The major concern here is fluoride, the researchers said. Fluoride is an important mineral for reducing dental cavity when used properly, in accordance with the ADA. It is often found in toothpastes and in many public water systems.
Although fluoride is generally considered good for teeth (and ADA recommends that you brush your child's teeth with a fluoride toothpaste), brushing with also Many toothpaste containing fluoride can actually damage a child's tooth enamel (the outer and hard surface of their teeth) by swallowing it, says the CDC. And younger children inevitably swallow their toothpaste, says Danelle Fisher, vice president of pediatrics at the Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., To the SELF. "Children under 6 do not spit very well," she explains.
Too much fluoride can also cause discoloration and corrosion, a condition known as dental fluorosis, says the CDC. If fluoride discolors a child's teeth, it may make them appear stained, lacy white or, in severe, brownish cases, Mia L. Geisinger, DDS, MS, associate professor at the University of Alabama at the Department of Periodontology, Birmingham School of Dentistry, AUTO. And the possible problems are not limited to teeth: too much fluoride can affect bone density of a childDr. Fisher says. "This is really a very serious thing," she adds.
It is recommended that adults also maintain the size of a pea, but this is not a problem for adults. "It's not that disturbing for adults because their teeth and bones are developed," says Jamie Alan, Ph.D., Pharm.D., Assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University. You can still technically consume a lot of fluoride and potentially have problems with bone density as a result, but if you are brushing properly and spitting your toothpaste properly, like most adults, toothpaste should not cause any adverse effects, Alan says. .
This really only becomes a problem if your child consistently goes overboard in the long term toothpaste.
Of course, at some point your child probably used too much toothpaste, and that's fine; using too much fluoride toothpaste from time to time is probably good. But it's important to keep an eye on it: "It's not about using too much toothpaste once or twice," says Mark S. Wolff, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry, to the SELF. . "It's for years." Basically, you will want to fix your child's habit sooner or later.
While overuse of fluoride is a potential problem, Dr. Geisinger says you do not have to worry also A lot of. Just monitor your children's use of toothpaste, watch them brushing to make sure they are doing well, and keep the tube out of reach when they are not using it.