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ADA Recommends Earlier Fluoride Distribution for Children

It may be beneficial for children to be given fluoride even earlier than they receive it now, according to the American Dental Association.

Previous information suggested children receive fluoride by the time they were 6. This new information, however, suggests that children be administered fluoride even earlier. The new ADA recommendation states that children should be given fluoride as soon as their first teeth develop.

When children use fluoride toothpaste at an early age, it can lower the rate of decay. Research suggests that around one quarter of children develop a cavity before reaching kindergarten but more children using fluoride at an earlier age can lower that number.

The change in position on when a child should start using fluoride comes after a study from the Journal of the American Dental Association.

The study also indicated that pea-sized quantities of toothpaste can lead to a higher risk of fluorosis when toothpaste is ingested. Children younger than 3 should use smaller amounts of toothpaste. The ADA recommends parents watch their children clean their teeth to make certain the children spit out the toothpaste as opposed to swallowing it.

More studies on fluoride will be conducted to determine when is the exact time children should initially use it. There are many different opinions regarding how people feel about fluoride and this information won’t change those beliefs.

Reference:  DentistryToday

Oral Health and Children

Oral Health and Children

  • Early childhood caries (cavities) is the number 1 chronic disease affecting young children.
  • Early childhood caries is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.
  • Tooth pain keeps many children home from school or distracted from learning.
  • Children are recommended to have their first dental visit by age 1.
Yet many children and their families have trouble accessing oral health care and pediatricians may not know where to turn to help them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Oral Health (SOOH) and Chapter Oral Health Advocates provide education, training, and advocacy for pediatricians, dentists, other health professionals, and families.

The importance of improving children's oral health and strategies to do so are included in the Academic Pediatrics Special Issue on Children's Oral Health.

Together we can make a difference by improving communication and collaboration between the medical and dental homes and making pediatricians and other health professionals an essential part of the oral health team!

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