Children Aren't Brushing Their Teeth Enough — CDC

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"Analysis of 2013-16 data found that over 38 per cent of children aged three to six years used more toothpaste than recommended by the CDC and other professional organisations", Xinhua news agency reported citing the report. This can cause dental fluorosis, white marks and discoloration of teeth. Exceedingly high concentrations of fluoride in drinking water can also contribute to dental fluorosis, the dental association says on its website. Even so, 60 percent of the children brushed for the recommended twice a day.

Health officials recommend that all people drink fluoridated water, and that everyone 2 or older brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

A pea-sized amount is recommended to prevent kids from accidentally swallowing too much toothpaste.

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.

Young kids may push for independence in brushing their teeth, but kids' toothpaste tastes sweet.

"You don't want them eating it like food", Dr Hayes added.

There are times when children insist on being independent in brushing their teeth, but pediatric dentist in Chicago Mary Hayes pointed out that parents should take control of the amount of the toothpaste for their kids.

Careful supervision of fluoride intake improves the preventive benefit of fluoride, while reducing the chance that young children might ingest too much fluoride during critical times of enamel formation of the secondary teeth.

The CDC also noted that almost 80 per cent of children aged 3 to 15 years started brushing later than the recommended age of six months. The CDC survey discovered that just about 80% of youngsters started cleaning after 1 year. Additionally, participants were not asked to specify whether the toothpaste had fluoride.

One problem, Shenkin said, is that parents tend to receive contradictory advice on how much toothpaste children should be using, as well as whether the youngest children should be using fluoride toothpaste at all. Plus, fluoride is never meant to be swallowed.

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