According to the new guidelines by the American Dental Association, it is recommended that parents use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush their baby’s teeth twice daily. By the age of 3 to 6, it is recommended to use a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Instead of waiting until children are older, the ADA believes that the use of fluoride toothpaste, as soon as the teeth erupt, can lead to a healthier and stronger smile.
The purpose is to get a head start on prevention and reduce the number of cavities in youth. It is best to use just a smear for babies and a pea size amount for toddlers’ to reduce the risk of fluorosis, or mild discoloration. This way, your children will be able to use fluoride toothpaste as a preventative measure, both for tooth decay and fluorosis.
In addition, it’s important to monitor your kids while they brush their teeth to ensure they are doing it properly. Children generally are not capable of brushing their teeth properly, and may use too much toothpaste, or miss spots.
An early start in the use of fluoride toothpaste is crucial for your children because there is a higher risk of developing cavities or tooth decay if a fluoride toothpaste is not used to strengthen the enamel and protect the teeth.
Finally, make sure the fluoride toothpaste your child uses has an ADA Seal of Approval. Happy brushing!
For more information, visit our page on prevention.