40 percent of kids use too much toothpaste, CDC study finds

For many parents, getting their children to brush their teeth regularly can be a challenge. But now there's a new concern: could your child be using too much toothpaste?

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found many children are.

The survey showed 40 percent of kids ages three to six used a toothbrush that was full or half-full of toothpaste when it actually should be only a pea-sized amount.

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For children under three, just a swipe of toothpaste -- about the size of a grain of rice -- is all that's needed.

Experts said too much toothpaste when teeth are forming can increase the risk of streaky or blotchy teeth, a condition known as "dental fluorosis."

Health officials recommend everyone drink fluoridated water, and that everyone two or older brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

But too much fluoride can be a problem. In extreme cases, teeth can be pitted by fluoride. They said parents should monitor the amount of toothpaste their child uses.

The CDC findings were based on a survey of parents of more than 5,000 children ages three to 15.

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