Decade-old ADA Oral Care Guidelines Overturn

children dentist smile ada guidelinesAs the National Children’d Dental Health month is in full swing, new American Dental Association suggests parents using fluoride toothpaste for children as soon as their teeth come in.

Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt, instead of waiting until children are older. That advice overturns the A.D.A.’s decades-old recommendation to start using a pea-size amount at 24 months. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size dollop, the updated guidelines say.

This change comes after a systematic review of 17 studies published in The Journal of the American Dental Association this month. It proves that fluoride toothpaste is effective in controlling tooth decay and that “the appropriate amount” should be used “by all children regardless of age.”

Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a spokesman for the A.D.A. and a pediatric dentist in Augusta, Me says that only a tiny amount of toothpaste should be smeared on the brush since some youngsters are likely to ingest some of the fluoride. An early start is crucial, he mentioned, because children with dental decay are at greater risk of developing cavities as adults. “By starting earlier, we can effectively reduce a lifetime of disease for a lot of kids.”

The new A.D.A. guidelines stress that children should spit out toothpaste as soon as they are able, but not being able to spit does not preclude the use of a rice-grain-size bit of fluoride toothpaste. Dr. Shenkin has had some 5-year-old patients “still not using a fluoride toothpaste because parents don’t think they can spit it out yet.” The goal is to have parents monitor the amount of toothpaste and to assist in brushing. Children generally cannot properly brush until they have the dexterity to tie their shoes.

Helping your child develop beautiful pearly whites can take time and effort, but it will definitely be worth it! Oral hygiene doesn’t begin when an individual ready to pick up a toothbrush, it starts right away! We have two excellent pediatric dentists, Dr. Kim or Dr.Pradhan, who would be more than happy to help your child. If you have more concerns about caring for baby teeth, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


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