When Should Children Start Using Fluoride Toothpaste?

There is some conflicting information about when children should start using fluoride toothpaste. Studies have suggested that young children who consume large amounts of fluoride through fluoridated water, beverages, and toothpaste have an increased chance of developing mild enamel fluorosis see http://blog.teethremoval.com/large-amounts-of-fluoride-consumed-by-young-children-leads-to-fluorosis/. Hence some felt that not using any fluoridated toothpaste when a child was young was the better choice, whereas some felt that that using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste was okay

In 2014, the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs updated its guidance on the use of fluoride toothpaste for children. The new guidance is that children’s teeth should be brushed with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth comes in. The idea is to provide children with the full benefit of cavity protection while also minimizing the risk of the development of fluorosis.

The ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs based their guidance on a systematic review of the evidence. They feel a smear of toothpaste with fluoride for children under 3 and a pea size amount of toothpaste with fluoride for children 3 to 6 will help prevent cavities and is less likely to cause fluorosis. Furthermore, children should spit out any toothpaste as soon as they are able.

The previous guidance from ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs was that water should be used to brush the teeth of children younger than 2 and that for children ages 2 to 6 a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used. The new guidelines are based on a review of scientific evidence.

Note I have also previously mentioned in a blog post fluoride in water you drink as a child effects your teeth in older age, see post http://blog.teethremoval.com/fluoride-in-water-at-birth-helps-dental-health-in-later-adult-life/.

Source: DrBicuspid. ADA: Use fluoride toothpaste when 1st tooth appears. February 13, 2014. http://www.drbicuspid.com/index.aspx?sec=log&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.drbicuspid.com%2findex.aspx%3fsec%3dnws%26sub%3dthd%26pag%3ddis%26itemId%3d315177.

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2 Responses to When Should Children Start Using Fluoride Toothpaste?

  1. Al Lee April 25, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    Fluoride is a dangerous neurotoxin (don’t take my word – see the Harvard medical report). Latest research confirms that it does not benefit teeth in any way. It is in fact harmful and causes dental fluorosis and if you think that’s all, there is a lot of damage that fluoride does to the rest of your body. It’s a slow poison (like asbestos – that’s why it’s so hard to detect).
    Do some research. Type “fluoride” into google and specify “last 24 hours”. You will learn a lot.
    The optimum dose of fluoride is no fluoride. If it’s naturally occurring in your water, it should be removed (as they have had to do in India). Ordinary water filters will not remove it. Only reverse osmosis or distillation filters are effective.
    Remember that the the dose is not in any way controllable. It gets into your beer, your soft drinks, your canned goods – anything that uses water from the town supply. How many breweries do you think use reverse osmosis filters for their water?

  2. Phill R May 15, 2015 at 8:13 am #

    I completely disagree with Al Lee. The British Dental Health Foundation said that fluoride is helping to reduce the amount of tooth decay in children under 15 in the UK.

    They do suggest that fluoride levels should start small for young children and build up slowly.

    You can read the full report here: http://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/blogdetails/152

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