Four out of five preschoolers are using the wrong toothpaste according to new research.
The New Zealand Medical Journal reports many parents are buying products marketed as appropriate for milk teeth, which have half the amount of fluoride recommended to prevent tooth decay.
Children should be using the same strength toothpaste as adults, with 1000 parts of fluoride per million.
NZ Dental Association Chief Executive, David Crum, says there’s not enough information for parents about the appropriate fluoride strength.
“I think that’s what this study has shown, that branding and packaging for parents attracts parents to buy that toothpaste, because parents want to do the best for their children.”
Dentists are calling for better information in supermarkets, supported by Plunket, to make sure the message gets through.
The study showed the main reasons parents buy low-strength fluoride toothpaste is because they trust the brand, because they think it matches the child’s age and because the child likes the taste.
Note from FAN:
The article in the New Zealand Medical Journal is titled, Use of full strength fluoride toothpaste among preschoolers in New Zealand, and factors determining toothpaste choice. Authors: Judy Li, Sarah Dallas, Karen McBride-Henry; 10th June 2016, Volume 129 Number 1436.