SALT LAKE CITY — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published findings on Feb. 1 that reveal using too much toothpaste can be damaging on tooth health for children and adolescents.
The CDC conducted a study to analyze children's toothbrushing and use of toothpaste. The data, from 2013 to 2016, showed that more than 38 percent of children 3-6 years old use more toothpaste than they should and almost 80 percent of children 3-15 years old start brushing their teeth later than they should. The CDC recommends brushing children's teeth as soon as they come in.
The CDC recommends children under 3 years old should use a rice-grain-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing, and children over 3 years old should use a pea-sized amount. Come 6 years old, the CDC said children's swallowing reflex will have developed enough to limit toothpaste ingestion.
This is because the excess of toothpaste can cause digestion of flouride. The CDC states that fluoride is one of the key factors in reducing dental cavities or tooth decay.
However, when too much flouride is digested while teeth are still developing, enamel formation can be impacted and teeth discoloration or pitting can occur.
WebMD also states fluoride can lead to tooth decay.
"Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay," according to WebMD.2 comments on this story
"Parents and caregivers can play a role in ensuring that children are brushing often enough and using the recommended amount of toothpaste," according to the CDC.
"Health care professionals and their organizations have an opportunity to educate parents and caregivers about recommended toothbrushing practices to ensure that children are getting the maximum preventive effect by using the recommended amount of fluoride toothpaste under parental supervision," according to the CDC.