NEW YORK, N.Y., USA: To fight cavities in children, the American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs is updating its guidance to caregivers that they should brush their children’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth comes in. This new guidance expands the use of fluoride toothpaste for young children.
To help prevent children’s tooth decay, the CSA recommends that caregivers use a smear of fluoride toothpaste (or an amount about the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than 3 years old and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 3 to 6 years old.
“For half a century, the ADA has recommended that patients use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities, and a review of scientific research shows that this holds true for all ages,” said Edmond L. Truelove, DDS, chair of the CSA. “Approximately 25 percent of children have or had cavities before entering kindergarten, so it’s important to provide guidance to caregivers on the appropriate use of fluoride toothpaste to help prevent their children from developing cavities.”
Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, with more than 16 million children suffering from untreated tooth decay in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
CSA previously recommended using just water to brush the teeth of children younger than 2 years old and to brush the teeth of children 2 to 6 years old with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste. CSA updated the ADA’s guidance based on a review of scientific evidence. The new guidance is intended to provide children cavity protection while limiting their risk of developing fluorosis.
The reports, “Fluoride toothpaste use for young children” and “Fluoride toothpaste efficacy and safety in children younger than 6 years,” were published in the February 2014 edition of the Journal of the American Dental Association.
(Source: American Dental Association)