Research Results: CDC Study Uncovering Toothpaste and Toothbrushing Patterns Among Kids
Earlier this month, the CDC released results of a research study looking at toothpaste and toothbrushing patterns among children and adolescents in the United States from 2013 to 2016.
To determine if children were beginning to brush at the recommended age and if they were being given the appropriate amount of fluoridated toothpaste for their age group. Questions on toothbrushing practices and toothpaste use among children and adolescents were included in the questionnaire component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)*.
According to the CDC, “This study estimates patterns of toothbrushing and toothpaste use among children and adolescents by analyzing parents’ or caregivers’ responses to questions about when the child started to brush teeth, age the child started to use toothpaste, frequency of toothbrushing each day, and amount of toothpaste currently used or used at time of survey.”
Datasets included only children and adolescents aged 3–15 years whose parent or caregiver completed the following open-ended questions:
Responses were coded into four categories: <1 year, 1 year, 2 years, and ≥3 years
A total of 5,157 children and adolescents were included in this analysis.
Analysis of 2013–2016 data found that:
View full study results and figures.
Authors of this study indicated that findings were subject to three limitations:
Promoting Toothbrushing for Kids in Your Practice
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends a child’s first visit take place within 6 months of the first tooth erupting and no later than 12 months of age as a dental best practice to help prevent early childhood caries (ECC). A child’s first visit by 12 months of age is critical for the early diagnosis and prevention of tooth decay, to educate parents and caregivers about dietary habits, daily oral hygiene, and the importance of regular professional dental care.
Talk to new and expectant parents and caregivers about fluoride and toothbrushing using your social media, newsletter, or during their visits. Posting and sharing easy-to-read, plain language resources like the ones below in your office also helps educate patients and keep them informed.
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Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team
*NHANES is a multistage probability sample of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population; data are obtained from assessments made using interview questionnaires and clinical examinations