Kids and Toothpaste

Question: I have an 18-month old child, should I be using fluoridated toothpaste on his teeth?

Answer: Until recently, I would have answered, “no.” But the American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) has just updated their position on the matter. The CSA now recommends that caregivers start using fluoride toothpaste on their children’s teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in. Previously, it was recommended that caregivers use only water to brush the teeth of children younger than 2 and to brush the teeth of children aged 2 to 6 with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Citing scientific evidence that showed a reduction in tooth decay in very young children, the CSA now recommends using a smear of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice for children younger than 3 and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children between the ages of 3 and 6. For further questions about how best to care for your children’s teeth, call your family dentist today.