A common question is how much toothpaste should we use every day? We can see in commercials that people fill the length of the toothbrush head with toothpaste, but is this the right amount?
Short answer: not at all, that is too much toothpaste and it can have consequences, especially in children. It is important that we learn how to measure the quantity to protect our oral health.
What is the right amount of toothpaste?
The truth is that we just need a little amount of toothpaste to clean our teeth each day. Using more toothpaste won’t help you clean your teeth better, and it can even be counterproductive since too much toothpaste can wear off your enamel, the natural protective layer of your teeth.
But what is the right amount? Adult teeth and children’s teeth need different quantities.
How much toothpaste should adults use?
The American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, which is enough to clean efficiently our mouth. This quantity will help you to clean your teeth and get all the benefits. It doesn’t matter what type or size of toothbrush you have, this amount will be perfect.
Another recommendation for adults is to be aware of what toothpaste are they using. Some whitening toothpaste has tiny specs to exfoliate your teeth and remove stains, therefore, using too much of it can wear off your enamel or hurt your gums.
The last tip is to use fluoridated toothpaste since fluoride protects your teeth and makes them stronger. Do not rinse your mouth at the end, just spit the excess toothpaste. Fluoride needs around 30 minutes to penetrate your teeth, so if you want to rinse, it is best to use fluoride mouthwash at the end.
How much toothpaste is used for children’s teeth?
Children have different needs than adults. They should be brushing since the first tooth erupts to create healthy habits and to protect the following developing teeth. It is best to use fluoride toothpaste because it protects teeth and makes them stronger. However, the quantity of toothpaste needs to be taken into consideration.
Around 3 years old and under, kids have difficulty controlling their reflexes, and they can accidentally swallow toothpaste. It is not recommended for kids to swallow too much fluoride toothpaste since it can cause dental fluorosis, a cosmetic dental issue that causes yellow, white, or brown stains on teeth. But, what is the right amount?
The ADA says that the right amount should be about the size of a grain of rice. This quantity is enough to clean children’s teeth and prevents future consequences of dental fluorosis. Once they get older, around 4 years old and beyond, they can begin to use a pea-sized quantity to brush.
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