New report affirms that less is more when it comes to toothpaste

6 February 2019

Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to oral hygiene? 

Yes, according to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which has noted that while brushing teeth is an integral part of oral hygiene, US children and adolescents are using far too much toothpaste when they brush. 

Researchers, led by oral health specialist Gina Thornton-Evans from the National Centre for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, has reiterated that the following guidelines, also followed by the ADA, should be observed by children and adolescents when brushing. 

"Children aged < three years should use a smear the size of a rice grain, and children aged > three years should use no more than a pea-sized amount (0.25 grams) until age six years, by which time the swallowing reflex has developed sufficiently to prevent inadvertent ingestion.” 

Instead, what is happening, according to an analysis of survey data of over 5000 children and adolescents collected during National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, is that about half the children are using too much, or too little, or going “full load”. 

But it’s not only the amount of toothpaste used which is an issue. 

Children are starting brushing later than they should – the recommendation is to commence brushing “as soon as first tooth erupts” -  and many are only once, not, twice a day. 

While acknowledging the battle many parents have in getting their kids to brush in the recommended fashion, the CD urges parents to be present when the brushing take place and to take an active role in their children’s oral health regimens. 

For more information on this report, go to “Almost 40% of American Kids Are Making This Simple Toothpaste Mistake, CDC Says”