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  • Writer's pictureNew Age Dental Group

Too Much Toothpaste - Not Good!

So you brush at least twice a day...for about two minutes...that's great for your smile, isn't it?


But do you pay any attention to how much toothpaste you put on your brush each time?

Well, for most of us the answer is probably No.

Falling victim to shiny commercials, where one in ten dentists recommends yet another miraculous paste, and a beautiful CGI brush is crowned with a massive tube of usually translucent paste from one end to the other, we often follow suit and do just that.

But did you know that Australian Dental Association advises that LESS IS MORE for both adults and children when it comes to brushing your smile? More so, recent research from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has found that most children are using way TOO MUCH. So, how much is TOO much, and what are the risks if any?

Using too much toothpaste can lead to Dental Fluorosis

We will reference some good articles to check out at the end of this post and try to keep you engaged by going over the main points here and now.

Most kinds of toothpaste as you know contain fluoride, a substance designed to help strengthen teeth and prevent dental decay. But if children ingest too much fluoride, especially while their teeth are still forming, they can develop Dental Fluorosis.

"Fluoride in too higher a concentration mixes with the other minerals that are trying to develop in our teeth. We have multiple minerals that make up our teeth and it basically changes the ratios," Norah Ayad, the senior vice-president of the Australian Dental Association Queensland, says.

Kids 8 and younger are the most susceptible to this problem because their permanent teeth are still developing. The severity of this condition depends on the dose, duration, and timing of fluoride intake. The CDC defines Dental Fluorosis as:

"...A condition that causes changes in the appearance of tooth enamel. It may result when children regularly consume fluoride during the teeth-forming years, age 8 and younger. Most dental fluorosis in the U.S. is very mild to mild, appearing as white spots on the tooth surface that may be barely noticeable and do not affect dental function. Moderate and severe forms of dental fluorosis, which are far less common, cause more extensive enamel changes. In the rare, severe form, pits may form in the teeth."

Image credit: Associate Professor Loc Do, Adelaide University Dental school

So How Much Toothpaste Should be Used?

Dentists from around the world agree that ONE, PEA-SIZED blob of toothpaste will suffice for the purposes of your brushing session. And same goes for all ages in the household :)

With our little brushers - keep an eye out for them spitting the paste out post-brushing. And while we are on the subject - it is always a good idea to be aware of the fluoride content in your tap water. If the concentration is anywhere above 2 mg/L - it also makes sense to use an alternative source of water, like bottled water, for brushing, as well as cooking. This will potentially lower the risk of dental fluorosis.

Image ©Dear Doctor, Inc. All rights reserved

What About Adults?

The risk is much lower for the adults because their teeth have already formed, hence the effect is not as dangerous.

However, use the same logic and stick with the PEA-SIZED blob, because it will be enough for sure, and you won't be wasting toothpaste :) Stay healthy and smile!


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