Many children are overdoing it on the Toothpaste, study

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The recommended toothpaste amount for children at three to six years old is of pea-size, while those under three should use a smear the size of a rice grain, according to the report.

While this data seems like a minor issue, the proponents of the study warned that because brushing one's teeth is a regular occurrence, with some doing it more than three times a day, the accumulation of fluoride can reach risky levels.

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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. Also the type of toothpaste (fluoride or non-fluoride containing) was not taken into account. Because young children are less capable of spitting out toothpaste in the sink, they are more likely to injest it. That may cause dental fluorosis, white marks, and discoloration of enamel.

The study indicated that the public doesnt understand how to properly apply toothpaste, Jonathan Shenkin, DDS, MPH, Dental Association spokesman and pediatric dentist in Augusta, Maine, said on Saturday. Toothpaste with fluoride can be introduced when the child is two years old, the agency says.

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"You don't want them eating it like food".

The CDC study, which was based on more than 5,000 children from ages 3 to 15, also found that almost 80 percent of children included in the analysis started brushing later than recommended. The information used for the evaluation was primarily based on parents' self-reporting. Instead, he advised, "Use it, but use it in the proper quantity so your children don't swallow too much".

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The CDC says children's teeth should be brushed as soon as the first tooth erupts using a clean, damp cloth. But just over 20 percent of parents or caregivers in the study reported that their child started brushing before age 1. That led to efforts to add fluoride to tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash and other products. The main problem is ingesting too much fluoride while the teeth are still developing.

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