Everyone knows how to use toothpaste right? Maybe not. Toothpaste is something we use every day twice a day, and without a second thought. However, to get the most out of your toothpaste, you must understand how to use it properly. If used incorrectly, you may not be cleaning your teeth as effectively as you think—and you could even be damaging your teeth and gums.
Selecting The Right Toothpaste
First up, let’s talk about selecting the right toothpaste. While most dentists suggest a fluoride formula, the truth is even the most generic toothpastes are more than sufficient. Toothpaste is essentially a “soap” for your mouth. That being said, if you really like the one you select—you are more likely to brush your teeth.
- Toothpastes that taste good to you may encourage you to brush longer
- Minty formulas that leave your mouth feeling fresh may encourage you to brush regularly
- Non-fluoride options are equally effective, as fluoride does not contribute to the cleaning process—but overtime can strengthen your teeth
- Foam or paste is entirely up to you, but which one do you prefer
- Color means nothing and is only there for marketing purposes and visual appeal
- Whitening formulas are often abrasive and can damage your gums and enamel—use for only a couple of weeks at a time, or only 2 or 3 days a week
- If your toothpaste burns, you may have an allergic reaction to the whitening formula or tartar control additives
- If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, ask your dentist to suggest an appropriate toothpaste
Are You Using Too Much Toothpaste?
Most of us don’t take the time to read the directions on our tube of toothpaste, and if we look at the box, TV commercials, or print advertisements we always see an ample application. However, teens and adults need just a pea-sized amount to brush their teeth efficiently—less for children; just a small dab for toddlers, and a light smear for babies with just a handful of teeth.
Using too much toothpaste can damage your teeth and gums, especially if you are using an abrasive or irritating formula. Using too much can also make it difficult to feel if you are properly brushing your teeth and gum line.
Even if you are using the proper amount of toothpaste, you should first apply it to your toothbrush—and then evenly spread it out across your front, back, top, bottom, left, and right teeth. You can even put your toothpaste in your mouth first, and swish it around in your mouth so that it dissolves and evenly distributes before you begin brushing.