New Guidelines Say to Use Fluoride Toothpaste On Baby

Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump
Photo: Shutterstock / The Bump

A new report from the American Dental Association says that parents shouldn’t wait until baby turns two to start brushing his teeth with fluoride toothpaste. The policy change advises that parents use a rice-grain size smear on baby’s first front teeth, moving up to pea-sized smears once  toddlers reach the age of three.

The change, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, is due to the fact that nearly 25 percent of US children develop cavities before kindergarten and roughly 16 million kids go untreated for cavities from a young age.

The formal scientific review found that using small amounts of fluoride toothpaste would help prevent cavities while minimizing the risk of fluorosis (a discoloration that can occur when teeth are exposed to too much fluoride too early on).

The American Dental Association also recommended that kids be taught to spit out excess toothpaste as soon as possible, so as not to swallow any.

Dentists recommend that kids don’t formally start brushing their teeth until all of their baby teeth come in (anywhere between 5 and 7 years old).

Do you the ADA’s new guidelines ease your worries about cavities in baby?

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Teach My Toddler to Brush His Teeth?

How Do I Clean Baby’s New Teeth?

What’s the Best Way to Brush My Toddler’s Teeth?