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How much toothpaste should I put on my child's toothbrush?

Children are exposed to fluoride through consumption of food and beverages. Considering these additional potential sources of fluoride and the risk of developing fluorosis at the time of tooth formation, the ADA recommends use of a smear of toothpaste (0.1 milligram of fluoride) from eruption of the first tooth to age 3 years followed by use of a pea-sized amount (0.25 mg of fluoride). for children aged 3 to 6 years.

The toothbrush on the left shows a smear of toothpaste (0.1 milligram of fluoride)

and the one on the right a pea-sized amount (0.25 mg of fluoride).


The optimal dose of fluoride is 0.05 mg per kilogram per day.


This regimen is intended to maximize the caries-preventive benefits of fluoride while further reducing the risk of developing fluorosis.


Therefore, considering the best available evidence and the continued high caries rate in children, the ADA recommends the following:


For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children's teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children's brushing to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste.


For children 3 to 6 years of age, caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children's brushing to minimize swallowing of toothpaste.


If you have any questions, please call us at 212-274 8338 for a regular check-up at Empower Your Smile.

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