New Fluoride Toothpaste Guidelines for Children

kidsbrush1The American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) recently announced new recommendations on when to start using fluoride toothpaste on children’s teeth.

To help prevent children’s tooth decay, the CSA recommends that parents use just a smear of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than 3 years old, and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 3 to 6 years old.

Previous CSA guidelines were to use just water to brush the teeth of children younger than 2 years old; and to brush the teeth of children 2 to 6 years old with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Exposing children’s teeth to fluoride at an earlier age will give them a head start on avoiding dental decay which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is the most common chronic childhood disease. More than 16 million children suffer from untreated tooth decay in the U.S, and approximately 25 percent of children already have cavities by the time they start kindergarten.

Changing the starting age for brushing with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste from 2 years to 3 years old is less likely to cause fluorosis—a mild discoloration of teeth usually appearing as faint lines. Fluorosis can result from swallowing fluoride toothpaste. The ADA recommends parents watch their children clean their teeth to make certain the children spit out the toothpaste as opposed to swallowing it.

The ADA also encourages parents to take their child to the dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than the child’s first birthday.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Give our office a call at (248) 362-4330 and be sure to visit our website at:; and “like” us on Facebook.

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