Kids Should Not Use Excess Toothpaste; Here's Why

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"What's really happening is that parents are following the rules of brushing twice a day, but they might not always be there", paediatric dentist Alene Marie D'Alesio from the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, who wasn't involved in the study, told The New York Times. Out of the 5,157 children in the study, almost 40 percent of those aged 3 to 6 years were using way too much toothpaste. And this led to the addition of fluoride to toothpaste, mouthwash, tap water and few other products.

Many American children use more toothpaste than officially recommended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, published on Friday.

The CDC says that 40% of children between the ages of 3-6 are using more toothpaste than recommended by dentists.

"You don't want them eating it like food", Hayes said. "We want the parent to be in charge of the toothbrush and the toothpaste", noted Hayes.

Young kids may push for independence in brushing their teeth, but kids' toothpaste tastes sweet, according to the team. Experts say fluoride had helped drive down rates of tooth decay in USA teens and adults.

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.

Past studies have suggested fluorosis has been increasing for at least three decades, and can affect as many as 2 out of 5 adolescents.

The study also found that nearly 80 percent of children aged between three and 15 years had started brushing their teeth later than the recommended age - which is when the first tooth emerges from around six months on, the CDC says.

The authors acknowledged other limitations. Also, the survey didn't ask specifically about what kinds of toothpaste were used; not all kinds of children's toothpaste have fluoride in them.

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 also found that roughly 20 per cent of white and black kids, and 30 per cent of Hispanic kids, didn't start brushing until they were 3 or older.

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