Almost 40 percent of children ages 3-6 used too much toothpaste, a new national study found.
Children less than 3 years old should use a smear of toothpaste the size of a rice grain, and children 3-6 should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ingestion of too much fluoride while teeth are developing can cause discoloration and pitting of permanent teeth, according to the CDC.
Once children are older than 6, the swallowing reflex has developed to prevent inadvertent digestion, CDC says.
Brushing children’s teeth should begin as soon as the first tooth erupts, and use of fluoride toothpaste should start at age 2.