March 19, 2019

Toothpaste may cause tooth decay if used excessively by kids

05 February 2019, 09:31 | Silvia Roy

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Numerous American youngsters utilize more toothpaste than experts suggest, as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, disclosed on Friday. Fluoride also replaces lost minerals in teeth to help make them tougher.

"Fluoride is a wonderful benefit but it needs to be used carefully", paediatric dentist Mary Hayes, who wasn't involved with the research, told Associated Press.

The concern of overusing toothpaste is the intake of fluoride.

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The recommended toothpaste amount for children at three to six years old is of pea-size, and for those under three about a rice grain, according to the report. However brushing with toothpaste is recommended by the ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as soon as the baby starts teething, at around 6 months.

You might think too much toothpaste is better than too little, but the CDC warns that kids using adult-sized toothpaste portions comes with its own perils.

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. Kids 3 to 6 are supposed to keep it to a pea-sized amount. More than 70 years ago, scientists discovered that people whose drinking water naturally had more fluoride also had fewer cavities. This can lead to a lack of mineralization of the tooth's enamel known as "fluorosis", which can cause discoloration of the teeth and an unpleasant mottled appearance. Additionally, participants were not asked to specify whether the toothpaste had fluoride. "We want the parents to be in charge of the toothpaste and toothbrush". Brushing your teeth might not be the most fun two minutes of your day, however, it's always worth making that tiny bit of effort to brush twice a day, not just once.

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Limitations of this survey were that parents self reported the brushing habits of their kids and were not observed first hand.

The CDC also found that almost 80 percent of 3 to 15-year-olds started brushing their teeth later than advised, which is when the first tooth grows out. Stanford Children's Health's website noted that regardless of the brand, as long as the toothpaste contains fluoride, it should be enough to support regular dental health practices.

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