Fluoride Action Network


We assessed advertisements for children’s toothpaste in two widely read US parenting magazines. Data on the number and type of toothpaste advertisements in two parenting magazines were collected from 116 magazine issues between 2007 and 2011. The number of children’s toothpaste advertisements per year and across magazines was computed. The amount of toothpaste presented in each advertisement was categorized. We noted whether the toothpaste advertisement stated that the toothpaste was fluoridated. We identified a total of 117 children’s toothpaste advertisements in these magazines and confirmed that the majority of the magazine issues contained at least one toothpaste advertisement. Of the 31 advertisements that depicted a picture of a toothbrush with toothpaste, all but one (96.8 %) depicted a full swirl of toothpaste covering the entire toothbrush head, which is well over the recommended amount. The pictures on the advertisements show an excessive amount of toothpaste on the brush, which directly conflicts with the instructions on many toothpastes and dentist recommendations. Those advertisements with photographs that depict a toothbrush with a full brush head of toothpaste are showing over four times the recommended amount for children.