How Much Toothpaste Should I Be Using?

This question is a good one. The answer depends on how old you are. Kids need less fluoride toothpaste than do adults.

Kids ages 1-3 years old should only use a small amount of toothpaste. Most children’s tooth brushes have different colored bristles in the middle of the brush. You can use these as a reference for a smear and place just enough to barely cover the tips of the bristles that are colored.

(Picture 1 above is a small child's toothbrush with colored bristles to show the area for a smear)

Children 1-3 years old should use the amount of about the grain of rice or a “smear” of fluoride containing toothpaste.Kids of this age tend to have difficulty in spitting the extra toothpaste out. Ingestion should be avoided by good rinsing and brushing with water afterwards. These children’s teeth still benefit from the fluoride toothpaste and the amount is not enough to be harmful if swallowed.

(Picture 2 shows a smear of toothpaste)

Kids and adults ages 3+ years of age, they only need a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste. These children and adults tend to have more dexterity and can spit and rinse without ingesting the toothpaste. Also, by this time any amount that is ingested is negligible in size comparison to the person using the toothpaste. Adults even tend to use too much toothpaste on their brush. Only a pea size amount is needed, you do not have to cover the brush with toothpaste.

(Picture 3 shows approx. a peasize amount of toothpaste. The image is of a small toothbrush and the toothpaste appears much larger than a pea but it is only because the brush head is so small.)

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Kumfer Family Dental Hours
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