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Taking Care of Baby Teeth

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The American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs recently updated its guidance to caregivers – now recommending children’s teeth be brushed with a fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth arrives.
CSA previously recommended using water to brush the teeth of children younger than 2 years old and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush the teeth of children 2-6 years old. CSA updated the ADA’s guidance based on a review of scientific evidence and now suggests caregivers use a “smear” of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than 3 years old and a pea-sized amount for children 3-6 years old.
Based on a systemic review of the evidence, CSA concluded that following these new recommendations helps prevent cavities and is less likely to cause fluorosis.
“For half a century, the ADA has recommended that patients use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities, and a review of scientific research shows that this holds true for all ages,” said Edmond L. Truelove, DDS, chair of the CSA. “Approximately 25 percent of children have or had cavities before entering kindergarten, so it’s important to provide guidance to caregivers on the appropriate use of fluoride toothpaste to help prevent their children from developing cavities.”
For more information, see the report published in the February 2014 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Source: CDA Journal, Vol. 42, April 2014

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