Children are using an unhealthy amount of toothpaste, CDC warns

Many young children are using too much toothpaste when they brush their teeth, according to a new CDC study. The findings show that almost 40% of children aged 3–6 years are using more toothpaste than dentists advise. Children in that age group should use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, while younger children should use only as much as a grain of rice or a smear, say CDC and the American Dental Association. The CDC study reported that some 60% of children aged 3–15 years use a half or full load of toothpaste. For children aged 3–6 years, about 12% used a smear, 49.2% used a pea-sized amount, 20.6% used half a load, and 17.8% used a full load. CDC noted that using too much toothpaste can affect the enamel, as children could ingest too much fluoride while their teeth are developing, and that could result in dental fluorosis, white marks, and tooth discoloration. The report, based on data from 2013–16, surveyed the brushing habits of more than 5,000 children.

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