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ADA revises fluoride suggestions for young children

Feb. 13, 2014

February 13, 2014

The American Dental Association now agrees with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that children under 2 should be using a “smear” of fluoride toothpaste twice a day.

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The previous advice for parents was to wait until children were 2 years old to start using fluoride toothpaste. Until then, many parents were using toothpaste without fluoride, or what is often called a “training” toothpaste.

The update in fluoride use was published in the February issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association. The association hopes that stronger preventive measures will reduce the occurrence of cavities in young children.

Parents of young children often wait until age 6 to introduce fluoride toothpaste “because parents don’t think [children] can spit it out yet,” according to a quote in the New York Times by Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, spokesman for the ADA and a pediatric dentist in Maine.

Lauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.