Did you know that almost everyone uses too much toothpaste?  Commercials often show pictures like this:

toothpaste

But, this is way too much.  Here are pictures of toothbrushes in my family.  First, the brushes of my two sons and then my own toothbrush with toothpaste on.

toothpaste

toothpaste

toothpaste

Let me give you two reasons not to use toothpaste like the commercials:

  1. Toothpaste is abrasive.  So, using too much can actually remove small amounts of enamel, causing the tooth to “wear” at a faster rate.  It may also increase gum recession.
  2. It costs more money to use that much.  Hmm…is that why the commercials show the whole brush head filled with it?

Here are some guidelines:

For children under 3 years old: the amount should be about the size of a grain of rice.  It’s difficult to get that little out of the tube and onto the brush, but a grain of rice is all you need! The first picture is my son Asher’s toothbrush. He just turned 3 and I’m still trying to do the grain of rice.  The idea is that you don’t want these young children to be able to swallow too much. Ingestion of too much fluoride containing toothpaste is dangerous.

For anyone over 3 years old: the amount should be the size of pea.  That’s all you need! The bristles of the toothbrush will do most of the work to clean your teeth, not the toothpaste!