Most children don’t brush their teeth properly, study finds. Discover the experts’ recommendations for optimal dental hygiene for your toddler!
At what age should your child start brushing their teeth, how often and how much toothpaste to use? Questions to which you do not have the exact answer. Fortunately, a study from the American Center for Disease Prevention (CDC) analyzed the hygiene of 5,000 children and reveals its results to you!
Do not use too much toothpaste
First of all, experts recommend that a child under 3 years old should use a dose of toothpaste equivalent to the size of a grain of rice. Between 3 and 6 years of age, the quantity increases and is closer to the size of a pea, or approximately 0.25 grams. However, the study’s researchers reveal that 38% of children aged 3 to 6 use amounts of toothpaste above recommendations.
If you think it’s not that bad… well, think again! Indeed, experts explain that too much fluoride can be harmful to children’s health. They specify in the study: “Ingesting too much fluoride when teeth are developing can lead to detectable changes in enamel structure, such as dental discoloration or fluorosis.”. Even though fluoride prevents cavities, the risk of ingesting it can be harmful to children. On the other hand, it is necessary to take into account that in a baby the swallowing reflex is not sufficiently developed to prevent him from swallowing toothpaste.
Conversely, 12.4% of children do not use enough toothpaste according to the results of the study. In this case, there is a risk that brushing your teeth will not be effective enough.
Children don’t brush their teeth regularly enough
Another important thing: it is necessary to monitor your children’s toothbrushing so that it is done effectively and regularly. Indeed, according to researchers, 34.2% of children only brush their teeth once a day, while recommendations recommend two. A discussion with children can help them become aware of the risks, such as cavities, so that they become more diligent!
Tooth brushing should start earlier
Another discovery thanks to this study? Parents start brushing their baby’s teeth too late! Ideally, you should do this as soon as the first teeth appear. They generally appear around 6 months of age. The survey reveals that 80% of children aged 3 to 15 actually started brushing their teeth much later.