New York – According to a government poll released on Thursday, too many young children use too much toothpaste, which increases the risk of streaking or staining in teeth as they get older.

About 40% of children aged 3 to 6 years old were using a full or half-filled toothpaste brush, although experts recommend not to eat more pea, the study revealed.

The findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are based on a survey of parents of more than 5,000 children aged 3 to 15 years.

Health officials recommend to all people drink fluoridated waterand every person 2 years of age or older brushes their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

But the amount is important. Children under 3 years are only expected to use a toothpaste smear the size of a grain of rice. Children from 3 to 6 years are supposed to keep it to the size of a pea.

"Fluoride is a great benefit, but it must be used with care," said Dr. Mary Hayes, a pediatric dentist in Chicago.

Young children can lobby for independence to brush your teethbut the toothpaste for children has a sweet taste.

"You do not want them to eat like food," said Hayes. "We want the parent to be responsible for the toothbrush and toothpaste."

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Fluoride is a mineral found in water and soil. More than 70 years ago, scientists discovered that people whose drinking water naturally had more fluoride also had less caries. This has led to efforts to add fluoride to tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash and other products. Experts say fluoride has helped reduce tooth decay rates among US teens and adults.

But too much fluoride during tooth formation can cause streaks or spots, called dental fluorosis. In extreme cases, the mineral can pierce the teeth, although many cases are so mild that only dentists notice it.

Previous studies have shown that fluorosis has been increasing for at least three decades and can affect up to 2 in 5 adolescents.

The new study did not follow children over time and did not attempt to determine how many developed teeth were streaked or spotted as a result of excessive toothpaste use.

The authors acknowledged other limitations. Parents may not have considered the amount of toothpaste used by younger children. In addition, the survey did not ask a specific question about the types of toothpaste used; not all children's toothpaste contains fluoride.

The study found that about 60% of children brushed their teeth twice a day. The study also revealed that about 20% of white and black children and 30% of Hispanic children had not started to brush their hair before the age of 3 years.