New Fluoride Guidelines for Children

The American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) has recently updated its guidance to caregivers regarding the use of fluoride toothpaste for children. The CSA recommends that caregivers should brush their child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears.

Dental decay is a common chronic childhood disease that affects nearly 16 million children and goes untreated. Oral disease forces children to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually. Additionally, oral disease disproportionately affects children from low-income families and these children have twice the number of decayed teeth.

Previously, the CSA suggested use of water for cleaning teeth of children less than 2 years old, and to brush the teeth of children between 2 and 6 years of age with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.

The new guidance is meant to provide children with the full benefit of cavity protection, while reducing the development of fluorosis, a mild discoloration of teeth usually appearing as small lines. For more information, please visit www.ada.org.

 

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