Fluoride has long been recommended as part of regular oral care, and the American Dental Association has even gone as far as recommending it at the first cutting of teeth. A recommendation published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association recommends using a small amount of fluoride on children as soon as they get their first tooth.
The report indicated that a small amount, about the same size as a grain of rice, should be applied to teeth on children under three. Additionally, children ages 3-6 are recommended to brush with a pea sized amount fluoride toothpaste. This recent recommendation comes after a review of cavities in school age children that indicated 25% of children have a cavity before entering kindergarten.
Fluoride aids in the maintenance of healthy teeth, prevents cavities, and wards off fluorosis which causes a discoloration of the teeth. It is the hope of the American Dental Association that they can help to reduce the incidence of cavities, especially those untreated, that plague our youth. It has been estimated that 16 million American children have untreated cavities which can lead to greater oral, and general health, concerns.