The American Academy of Pediatrics has changed its guidelines for fluoride for children. They now recommend using fluoride toothpaste beginning with tooth eruption.
Here are their recommendations:
- Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for children starting at tooth eruption, regardless of caries risk.
- A smear (the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste should be used up to age 3. After the 3rd birthday, a pea-sized amount may be used. Parents should dispense toothpaste for young children and supervise and assist with brushing.
- Fluoride varnish is recommended in the primary care setting every 3-6 months starting at tooth emergence.
- Over-the-counter fluoride rinse is not recommended for children younger than 6 years due to risk of swallowing higher-than-recommended levels of fluoride.
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