Children should begin brushing their teeth, or should we say tooth, as soon as the first tooth comes in. It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) that children brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and then again at night. They also recommend brushing their teeth for at least two minutes each time. There are fun timers online, like this one below that can help children know when to stop brushing their teeth.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), “Black and Hispanic children and those living in families with lower incomes have more untreated [tooth] decay [than white families].” Taking care of your child’s teeth is imperative to their overall long-term health. Your goal as a parent is to avoid cavities and root canals in the future.
Fillings often contain mercury and although the amount is said to be safe, we know mercury affects brain development. “All silver-colored fillings are dental amalgam fillings, and each of these fillings is approximately 50% mercury.” A person with one cavity versus a person with 19 might have a different long-term effect. Avoiding cavities or getting more expensive porcelain fillings are your alternatives.
The most common chemical children receive through toothpaste is fluoride. “Too much fluoride is harmful to cognitive development in children. “Higher levels of fluoride were associated with lower scores on IQ tests.”
“Black and Hispanic children and those living in families with lower incomes have more untreated [tooth] decay [than white families].”
In addition, fluoride is added to a lot of cities‘ drinking water. You can check FluorideAlert.org to see where your state ranks with fluoridated water. You may want to limit your child’s water to alkaline balanced spring water that does not contain fluoride. You will also want to buy organic or fluoride-free toothpaste, especially for young children.
How Much Toothpaste Is Too Much
So how much toothpaste should a young child use? Let’s start with babies in the womb.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children under two-years-old should not use fluoride at all.
AGES 2- TO 3-YEARS OLD
Children ages two-to-three-years-old should use only a rice-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing their teeth twice a day.
AGES 3- TO 6-YEARS OLD
Children ages three-to-six years old should continue brushing their teeth twice-a-day with a pea-size amount of toothpaste.
Take care of your children’s teeth. Not caring for their teeth now can affect their cognition and affect them for their entire lifetime.