150 E. 77th Street
Suite 1E
(212) 355-1003

Is your child overdoing it with the Fluoride Toothpaste?

Feb 4, 2019

In case you missed it, the New York Times published an article on Sunday entitled “Many Children are Overdoing It on the Toothpaste, a CDC Study Says”.  And after reading it yesterday, I thought…. oh man, am I going to get questions about THIS on Monday! Sure thing… first family of the morning… “Hey Dr. Jen, what do you think about Fluoride toothpaste for kids?”

So, here are my thoughts: Fluoride toothpaste is GREAT.  And it really can help prevent cavities in kids’ teeth. So, please keep using it. However, more importantly, please make sure that you are also supervising your child during brush time! I always recommend for a parent to get a turn (or basically do the brushing) until your child can tie her own shoes, color in the lines, and/or use a fork and knife. That means until 6…7… 8 years old!  And that also means supervising the amount of Fluoride toothpaste that goes on the brush as well. Most kids like to swallow the toothpaste, especially if they are under 4 years old…  so make sure you are only putting a rice grain smear to a small pea sized amount of toothpaste on the brush, and encourage your kiddo to spit! I would recommend having the adult place the toothpaste until you are confident that your child will not sneak or squeeze the whole tube onto the brush… after all, kids’ toothpaste taste good!

Also, just to make things more confusing… the CDC and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry have different guidelines on when to start Fluoride toothpaste (the AAPD recommends starting at age 1, and the CDC recommends at age 2).  Here’s what I think: once your child has about 12 teeth, regardless of age, please start using a rice grain smear of Fluoride toothpaste. In my opinion, once that many teeth are present, the benefits of Fluoride toothpaste outweigh the risks of not using it. And don’t forget – your child will keep his back baby molars until he is 11-13 years old, so these baby teeth are important!

If you have more questions, feel free to give us a call!

© 2014 Dr. Jennifer Fountain, DDS.
All rights reserved.