As their babies grow into toddlers, some parents may be wondering about the proper age for introducing fluoride toothpaste into their child's dental care routine.
Writing in the News-Leader, Dr Stuart Scott said that the right time for including fluoride depends on a youngster's individual situation, which is best assessed by a dentist.
Some of the factors that may influence the decision include whether or not the local drinking water is fluoridated and the condition of the child's teeth - as well as that of their parents.
Scott explained that he generally does not recommend that kids who are under five years old use fluoride toothpaste, because they do not possess an adequate spitting reflex, which may lead to an unintended amount of paste being swallowed.
However, if a younger child does require exposure to additional fluoride, their parent should make sure they are using only a tiny amount of toothpaste on their brush, he advised.
The American Dental Association recommends that parents bring their children to see a dentist within six months of the appearance of their first tooth.
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