Too many young kids are using too much toothpaste، increasing their risk of streaky or splotchy teeth when they get older، according to a government survey released Thursday.
About 40 percent of kids ages three to six used a brush that was full or half-full of toothpaste، even though experts recommend no more than a pea-sized amount، the study found.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention findings were based on a survey of parents of more than 5،000 kids ages three to 15.
Health officials recommend that all people drink fluoridated water، and that everyone two or older brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
But the amount is important. Children under three are only supposed to use a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Kids three to six are supposed to keep it to a pea-sized amount. 'Fluoride is a wonderful benefit but it needs to be used carefully،' said Dr. Mary Hayes، a pediatric dentist in Chicago.
Young kids may push for independence in brushing their teeth، but kids' toothpaste tastes sweet.
'You don't want them eating it like food،' Hayes said. 'We want the parent to be in charge of the toothbrush and the toothpaste.'