New evidence on toothpaste for kids

toothpasteIn the U.S. dental care has long been a priority for young children. Decades ago, I can clearly remember our church giving out toothbrushes and toothpaste every Halloween before it was time to trick-or-treat. But for many reasons, tooth decay is a growing problem among preschool children.

Tooth decay is dangerous for kids for a number of reasons. Having cavities as a child increases the chance of having cavities as an adult. In addition, it’s difficult for small children to sit during dental procedures. This often means they need an anesthetic, which comes with added health risks.

Dental researchers have been looking for a solution to this problem.  A new systematic review published last month offers one answer: Using fluoride toothpaste for younger children.

For decades, the American Dental Association recommended not using fluoride toothpaste until children turn two because of a problem called fluorosis, a discolartion or white streaking on teeth as a result of ingesting fluoride at a young age.

The new review analyzed 17 studies that investigated the effectiveness and safety of young children using fluoride toothpaste.  Researchers found brushing with fluoride toothpaste brushing significantly reduced tooth decay. They found a small risk or fluorosis for children under 2 years old. As a result, they recommend using less toothpaste Рa dot about the size of a rice grain Рuntil children learn to spit the toothpaste out.

As a result of the review, the American Dental Association changed its guidelines to recommend that parents use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth as soon as they appear. This is a great example of a national organization following the evidence to improve public health!

Comments

  1. It is so great that you finally made kids toothpaste in USA.

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