Brushing our teeth is a relatively mindless part of the day. People usually don’t even notice how much toothpaste they are using. The CDC has recently released a study that children are prone to using too much toothpaste when brushing. Children and adults may need to be more careful.
What Are The Consequences Of Using Too Much Toothpaste?
Since most toothpaste contains fluoride, children who use more than recommended are at risk for a condition called dental fluorosis. This happens when fluoride interacts with other minerals which make up children’s still-growing teeth and change the ratios. When this happens, children’s teeth can become stained, and in some cases, the surfaces of the teeth are impacted. The tooth surface may become rougher and make proper hygiene more difficult.
How Common Is This Condition?
Fortunately, dental fluorosis is a relatively rare condition that is usually not severe enough to reduce the functioning of the teeth. Severe cases are even more rarely found.
Should Adults Worry?
Adults don’t need to be quite as cautious as children regarding toothpaste usage for two main reasons. Adults’ teeth are done growing, and they don’t typically swallow toothpaste the way children might. Since the teeth are done growing, there is no risk of dental fluorosis, and as they are not consuming the toothpaste, there’s no risk of ingesting excess fluoride into the body.
How Much Toothpaste For Adults?
Using a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste is plenty enough to get the job done, even for adults – there’s no need to cover the whole brush.
How Much Toothpaste For Children?
Brushing should begin as soon as the teeth appear. No toothpaste is recommended until 18 months of age for children. After 18 months, a grain-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste on a soft brush will do. When children are 3, they can use a small dollop of low-fluoride toothpaste when they brush. After age 7, the child can begin using the recommended amount of standard toothpaste adults when brushing their teeth.
What If A Child Swallows Toothpaste?
If a child accidentally ingests too much toothpaste, they should be given milk. Milk binds with fluoride and helps the body to get rid of it.