Objective : The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the amount of toothpaste used by opening diameter size and squeezing methods in aged 3-4 for preventing excessive use of fluoride toothpaste. Methods: The amount of toothpaste per brushing was measured from a sample of 29 infants aged 3-4 in a nursery located in Sokcho City, Gangwon Province, Korea. And we surveyed the person in charge of squeezing toothpaste while the infants brush their teeth. Two squeezing methods, pea-size and transverse technique, were selected. And 0.6 cm and 0.9 cm of opening diameter size were selected. The amount of toothpaste used by two squeezing methods and two opening diameter sizes was measured. This was a double blind, controled trial, crossover study. Results: The frequency that the infants squeeze toothpaste in the nursery and at home themselves was 80.4% and 65.2% respectively. The survey has revealed that the amount of toothpaste used while brushing significantly different depending on the opening diameter size (P < 0.001) in case of 0/6 cm and 0.9 cm of opening diameter size, the amount of toothpaste used by an infant aged 3-4 per brushing was 0.58 g and 0.36 g respectively (P=0.0 13). But when the infants aged 3-4 squeezed the toothpaste by the methods of pea-size and transverse technique, this difference was not statistically significant(peasize: P=0.405, transverse technique: P=0.512). Conclusions: To reduce the unnecessary fluoride ingestion from the process of the infant' s brushing and to use the appropriate amount of toothpaste, it is necessary to control the opening diameter size of toothpaste rather than squeezing methods.
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