In addition, the study found that although experts recommend no more than a pea-sized amount, about 40 percent of kids aged three to six used a brush that was full or half-full of toothpaste. New research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that despite warnings on the inadvertent consumption of too much fluoride, many kids are still using more toothpaste than they should every time they brush. Granted, parents use only water to brush, it is still crucial to note that children under the age of 3 should have only a rice-grain size toothpaste on their brushes. Current recommendations from the CDC as well as the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) suggest that children should begin brushing by the age of two years.
Kids aged three to six should keep it to a pea-sized amount.
Further, over one-third of children (34.2 percent) analysed in the study only brushed their teeth once per day, not twice as is recommended to reduce the risk of cavities. It does not affect overall dental health, but it can lead to white lines or streaks on the teeth, the American Dental Association said.
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Meanwhile, the CDC noted that almost 80 percent of children aged 3 to 15 years started brushing later than the recommended age of six months.
Brushing habits of about 5,100 children were included in the report based on data from 2013 to 2016.
It might seem like a small thing, but as the researchers point out, "ingestion of too much fluoride while teeth are developing can result in visibly detectable changes in enamel structure such as discolouration and pitting (dental fluorosis)", not to mention that toothpaste can contain other chemicals besides fluoride that aren't necessarily good for you when swallowed. But just over 20 percent of parents or caregivers in the study reported that their child started brushing before age 1. The information used for the evaluation was primarily based on parents' self-reporting.
What is fluoride and why is the major ingredient in toothpaste? This is mainly because of the excess fluoride that is swallowed by children in the toothpaste.