Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the amount of dentifrice applied to the toothbrush by school children using a liquid dentifrice (drop technique), when compared to toothpaste. Materials and Methods: A total of 178 school children (4–8 years old) from two cities in Brazil (Bauru and Bariri) participated in the present two-part crossover study. Children from Bauru received training regarding tooth-brushing techniques and use of dentifrice before data collection. In each phase, the amount of toothpaste or liquid dentifrice applied by the children to the toothbrush was measured, using a portable analytical balance (± 0.01 g). Data were tested by analysis of covariance (Ancova) and linear regression (p < 0.05). Results: The mean (± standard deviation) amounts of toothpaste and liquid dentifrice applied to the toothbrushes for children from Bauru were 0.41 ± 0.20 g and 0.15 ± 0.06 g, respectively. For children from Bariri, the amounts applied were and 0.48 ± 0.24 g and 0.14 ± 0.05 g, respectively. The amount of toothpaste applied was significantly larger than the amount of liquid dentifrice for both cities. Children from Bariri applied a significantly larger amount of toothpaste, when compared to those from Bauru. However, for the liquid dentifrice, there was no statistically significant difference between the cities. A significant correlation between the amount of toothpaste applied and the age of the children was verified, but the same was not found for the liquid dentifrice. Conclusion: The use of the drop technique reduced and standardised the amount of dentifrice applied to the toothbrush, which could reduce the risk of dental fluorosis for young children.
Keywords: fluorides, fluorosis, preventive dentistry, toothpaste, topical