For decades, dentists have been telling us parents to spare the toothpaste until age 2. And by all means, stay away from fluoride.
Now comes a change.
The American Dental Association says the time to gently brush with fluoride is when that first tooth peeks over the gumline.
How often: twice a day
How much: about the size of a grain of rice. And that fluoride is now A-OK as an additive to that toothpaste.
It seems fluoridation of water isn’t enough to save kids teeth, and it’s certainly not a communist plot to consider fluoride.
The reason for the change is a review of more than 15 studies which show that early brushing with fluoride is not only good in toddler-hood, but having good choppers at a young age lead to good choppers in adulthood.
Now before you shake your toothbrush at this advice, consider this thought.
The research finds that too many children show signs of decay in anywhere from 6-10 teeth by the time a kid hits kindergarten. And I’m sure you can imagine trying to get a youngster to sit still for repair of decay and cavities at that age.
Heck, we adults can’t even handle that. And that’s if we don’t totally avoid the dentist in the first place.
A few reminders:
That first trip to the dentist should take place at least by age 2.
That “dollop” of toothpaste up to ages 2-3 should be only the size of a grain of rice.
Ages three and older, you can go to pea-sized.
So brush, brush, brush– and don’t forget the dentist. That goes for us frightened, procrastinating, (and too-busy) grown-ups, too.