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The level of fluoride that children's teeth are exposed to can make a big difference to their dental health, the Academy of General Dentistry has said.
According to the AGD, both too much and too little fluoride may lead to problems. For example, if kids do not drink fluoridated water, they are more likely to suffer from tooth decay.
This issue may arise when children are given bottled water rather than tap water. Fluoridated water, when used on a routine basis, promotes tooth remineralization and helps prevent cavities.
At the same time, overexposure to fluoride may result in tooth discoloration. The American Dental Association recommends that children under six who brush with a fluoride toothpaste should only use a pea-sized amount.
Also, experts recommend that parents themselves monitor their kids to make sure they are not swallowing toothpaste.
"Until [age six], children don't have the dexterity to brush by themselves properly and they tend to swallow the toothpaste and ingest the fluoride, which can put them at risk for [tooth discoloration]," explained AGD spokesperson Heidi Hausauer.
Some dentists even choose to use topical fluoride on children's teeth, if they think additional exposure is needed.
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