Fluoride Action Network


Concerns regarding an increased risk of dental fluorosis related to ingesting fluoride-containing toothpastes by preschool children have led to recommendations to reduce the amount of toothpaste used for young children to a pea-sized amount. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect on salivary fluoride levels of reducing the amount of toothpaste used in a preschool-age (4-5 years) population. Salivary fluoride concentrations were determined for 10 children whose teeth were brushed with both 0.25 g and 1.0 g of a fluoridated toothpaste on two separate days. Initial salivary fluoride levels following the use of 0.25 g of toothpaste were less than half of the salivary fluoride concentrations when 1.0 g of toothpaste was used, and levels returned to baseline more rapidly. The reduced salivary fluoride levels when less toothpaste is used may result in a reduced efficacy for caries prevention. However, any potential reduction in caries prevention may still be outweighed by the risk of increased fluoride ingestion with larger amounts of toothpaste in preschool children. The results of this study suggest that a reduction in the amount of a fluoridated toothpaste to a pea-sized amount be limited only to young children who are at risk of ingesting toothpaste.