Concerned about your dental health or trying to make economic decisions? Don’t worry because you are not the only one confused about the right amount of toothpaste to use. This question has remained a topic of debate for many years as people try to find the perfect amount that will benefit their teeth and won’t be considered as waste. If these worries take up a space in your mind, you’ve come to the right place.
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The Golden Rule for Toothpaste Amount
Now, if we are to talk about commercials and advertisements for toothpaste, the actor is always seen covering the toothbrush bristles thoroughly and getting rewarded with a pearly white smile. Although that seems great, it is far from reality.
According to professionals, that amount of toothpaste can do your teeth more harm than good.
The solution is one word: pea-size.
Dr. Gao Jye, famous on TikTok, among many other dentists, stresses that a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is ideal.
Such an amount creates enough foam useful for cleaning purposes and provides the required concentration of fluoride needed by our teeth for protection. Children’s teeth should be brushed as soon as they get their first one, but before the age of 3, the amount of toothpaste they use should be kept minimal, even smaller than a pea-size.
Why Extremes are Bad
Fluoride, a component present in most toothpaste, when ingested in excess, proves harmful, especially for younger children whose teeth are at a developmental stage. It can give rise to a condition called dental fluorosis which can cause mild discoloration, development of brown and yellow stains or pits in your teeth. The condition is treatable but the damage to the enamel is permanent. So, whether you use a soft bristle or an electric toothbrush, as long as you are above 3 years of age, pea-size is the golden rule.
At the same time, we also need to be mindful to not use too little toothpaste in order to make the most out of fluoride’s protective benefits and make enough lather necessary for cleaning action. It is recommended that after brushing, you can spit out the excess toothpaste, but you should not rinse your mouth for at least 30 minutes so the fluoride can do its job properly.
According to the National Centre for Health Statistics, located in the United States, the prevalence of dental fluorosis was way higher in adolescents aged 12-15, around 40%. As compared to this, the prevalence was 9% among adults in the age range of 40 – 49. These figures raise the importance of correct brushing, which should be supervised for children.
Alternatives to Consider
Other than age, many other factors come together to decide the most appropriate amount of toothpaste. Among them is the type of toothpaste we are using. Using natural toothpaste, which in simple terms means fluoride-free toothpaste, has its own benefits.
For starters, it erases the possibility of developing dental fluorosis, which means we do not have to worry about using it in excess. Its purpose is to facilitate the mechanical action of bristles in cleaning your teeth and removing any dental plagues that can eventually lead to dental decay. With non-fluoride toothpaste, although we lose the extra protection offered by fluoride, we can use it as much as we want, keeping in mind that even for this type, a pea-size is more than enough to get the job done.
Alongside the action of the bristles of a toothbrush, dental floss also performs well in removing dental plagues. Fluoride provides added benefits against dental decay, but other than that, the mechanical action of brushing and flossing is enough.
To Sum it Up
All in all, the amount of toothpaste we can use depends on its type. With fluoride, despite the added benefit over natural toothpaste and flossing, we need to be mindful of the amount, especially with young children. Other factors such as the type of toothbrush or the size of bristles do not hold much importance when it comes to determining the amount of toothpaste required. So, keeping these in mind, brush responsibly in order to yield the highest benefits with minimum to zero harm.
How many times a day is it important to brush your teeth, and for how long?
It is recommended to brush your teeth on average around twice a day, once after waking up and once before going to bed. Each time, it should be for at least 2 minutes.
How much Is a pea-size amount?
It is roughly around 0.25 grams.
How much toothpaste should children aged 3 and below use?
They should use a smear of toothpaste, roughly the size of a rice grain.