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

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

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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