A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 38% of children ages 3 to 6 used more toothpaste than is recommended by dental professionals. Swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can result in teeth discoloration (dental fluorosis) in young children. While fluorosis does not affect overall dental health, it can lead to white lines or streaks on the teeth of children since their teeth are still developing.
The CDC and American Dental Association recommend children 3 to 6 years old should only use a pea-size amount of toothpaste. For children under 3, they should only be using a smear of toothpaste (think a grain of rice).
According to Dr. Alene Marie D’Alesio, chief of pediatric dentistry at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, parents should be present while children brush their teeth, until the age 6 or 8.
Another common issue? Based on a different CDC study, 80% of children started brushing their teeth later than recommended. Parents should start brushing children’s teeth when the first tooth erupts.
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