The American Dental Association is an American professional association with over 155,000 members. Founded in 1859, it is currently the nation’s leading source of oral health related information for dentists and their patients.
Recently, the ADA expanded their recommendation for the use of fluoride toothpaste for young children. Their new guidelines recommend that caregivers brush their children’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth comes in.
To help prevent tooth decay in children, the ADA now recommends that caregivers use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste (approximately the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than three years-old and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 3 to six years old.
This change was made as an attempt to prevent cavities in young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease with more than 16 million children suffering from untreated tooth decay in the United States. Additionally, oral disease causes children to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually.
Previously, the ADA recommended using only water to brush the teeth of children under the age of two and to brush children between the ages of 2 and six with years-old with a pea-size smear of fluoride toothpaste. The ADA made this change to their recommendations based on a review of the scientific evidence surrounding the use of fluoride toothpaste in young children. They hope that this will serve to reduce the incidence rates of dental decay in young children in the United States.
If you are a parent and are concerned about the oral health of your child, visit a pediatric or family dentist today. He or she can evaluate your child’s dental health and make the appropriate recommendations to safeguard his or her long-term oral health.
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