Brushing with toothpaste too often can cause tooth decay

Toothpaste

Toothpaste

Nearly 40 percent of children ages 3 to 6 used more toothpaste than recommended by dental professionals, suggested a new study.

"What's really happening is that parents are following the rules of brushing twice a day, but they might not always be there".

Fluoride is a mineral found in water and soil.

A pediatric dentist in Chicago, Mary Hayes told Daily Mail that "Fluoride is an unbelievable benefit but it must be used carefully". 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. More than 70 years ago, researchers had discovered that human beings whose drinking water had more fluoride naturally also had fewer cavities.

That led to the addition of fluoride to tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash and other products.

It might seem like a small thing, but as the researchers point out, "ingestion of too much fluoride while teeth are developing can result in visibly detectable changes in enamel structure such as discolouration and pitting (dental fluorosis)", not to mention that toothpaste can contain other chemicals besides fluoride that aren't necessarily good for you when swallowed.

How was the experiment carried out?

In order to conduct the study, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included parents of over 5,000 children aged 3 to 15 years.

Too many young kids are using too much toothpaste, increasing their risk of streaky or splotchy teeth when they get older, according to a government survey released Thursday. According to the CDC, children aged 3 and under should only use "a smear the size of a rice grain", while kids between the ages of 3 and 6 should use no more than a pea-sized amount.

Pediatric dentist further said, "You don't want them eating toothpaste like food".

Dr. Shenkin said the message that parents should take away is not that they should stop using fluoride toothpaste.

"The findings suggest that children and adolescents are engaging in appropriate daily preventive dental health practices", the authors write, "however, implementation of recommendations is not optimal".