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How much toothpaste should I use?

How much toothpaste should I use?

Created: December 14, 2022 | Updated: February 20, 2024

If you follow the advice of your dentist and/or dental hygienist, you will find yourself using toothpaste several times a day. Using a manual toothbrush with an elongated head, or an electric toothbrush with a small, round head. Have you ever wondered how much toothpaste to use? That head is so big or small for a reason, right? And that twice-daily brushing with a toothpaste with fluoride, you have to get enough fluoride from that on your brush for it to work against cavities, right? Can that also be too much? And does that still depend on your age?

How much toothpaste should you use?

A nice thick blob of toothpaste on your toothbrush makes brushing easier, right? Unfortunately no. Toothpaste contains some abrasive to scrub well, but it is really the bristles of your toothbrush that do the most important work. So replace them in time too! The fact remains that using not enough toothpaste on your brush won’t get your teeth clean enough, but that thick blob is really much, much too much.

How much toothpaste do children need?

Children under six need less toothpaste than adults. A blob the size of a grain of rice is enough to keep children’s mouths clean and fresh. Not only because their mouths contain fewer and smaller teeth. But mainly because swallowing toothpaste with fluoride can lead to fluorosis. You can buy special toothpaste for (small) children where the fluoride content is adapted to their age. 1  And even though your child may not accidentally (or intentionally) swallow anything, invariably using way too much toothpaste is obviously a waste.

The amount of toothpaste you can use as an adult

Adults need not be so afraid of fluorosis or other physical complaints caused by too much toothpaste. But even for them, most of the toothpaste that advertisements show is completely unnecessary. So don’t smear the whole brush head full, but stick to a drop, think the size of a pea.

This is why you should not use too much toothpaste

In (small) children, the danger of fluorosis lurks. That means brown spots all appear on their teeth as a result of far too much fluoride. While most adults know not to swallow toothpaste, children have more difficulty doing so. As a result, they are much more at risk of fluorosis than adults. Besides, of course, it is also a real waste to waste so much toothpaste. Most adults easily put four to five times more toothpaste on their manual toothbrush than necessary. Adults who brush with an electric toothbrush, with its small, round brush head, must be really bad at it, but even they often brush with more than double the recommended amount. Just for fun, do the math on how much money you save on an annual basis by doing this, I’m sure you can do much more fun things with that!

With toothpaste tablets you don’t waste toothpaste

Finding it hard not to squeeze that tube too hard? Does one of those little peas of toothpaste look so empty on your toothbrush? Then try toothpaste tablets. These granules have just the right amount for one brushing. Pill in your mouth and brush without actually noticing how little it is. But it makes brushing just as pleasant and your mouth just as fresh and clean. And all that without wasting, count your winnings!

Toothpaste tablets mint with fluoride
Recommended Toothpaste tablets mint with fluoride

5

Recommended price: 10

  • plus iconThe plastic-free alternative to tubes
  • plus iconFresh mint flavour
  • plus iconFresh mint flavour
Temporary 5% discount with discount code Breath5
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Fresh Breath Package
Recommended Fresh breath package

119

Recommended price: 214

  • plus iconAdvanced technology for superior cleaning
  • plus iconEffective against bad breath
  • plus iconImprove your oral health
Temporary 5% discount with discount code Breath5
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Toothpaste Tablets Fluoride Free Mint
Recommended Toothpaste tablets fluoride free mint

5

Recommended price: 10

  • plus iconWithout fluoride, with hydroxyapatite
  • plus iconThe plastic-free alternative to tubes
  • plus iconFresh mint flavour
Temporary 5% discount with discount code Breath5
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Related Trusted Sources

  • 1. Aoun A, Darwiche F, Al Hayek S, Doumit J. The Fluoride Debate: The Pros and Cons of Fluoridation. Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2018 Sep;23(3):171-180. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2018.23.3.171. Epub 2018 Sep 30. PMID: 30386744; PMCID: PMC6195894.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6195894/

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Frequently asked questions

For adults, a blob of toothpaste the size of a pea is recommended. This is enough to clean the mouth properly and much less than most people put on their toothbrush as standard.

For children under the age of six, one grain of rice toothpaste is enough. This is partly because they often swallow toothpaste. Too much fluorine can thus lead to nasty brown stains on teeth.

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The National Center for Biotechnology Information promotes science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

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