When I was living in the dorms of Central Michigan University back in the mid-90’s I remember my friend (Michele L.) chastising me for the extraneous toothpaste slathered on my brush. I always scoffed at her scolding . . . until recently.
Too much toothpaste
Several factors led the realization that I have always used way too much toothpaste: my holistic dentist, the $6 price tag for my natural toothpaste, and of course my friend Michele.
Basically, I have been awash in poor toothpaste stewardship my entire toothbrushing life – but don’t blame me, blame Aquafresh.
Why do we use so much?
In a word, marketing.
Remember the Aquafresh commercials instructing us to, not only use an entire brush full, but to gob it on in beautiful bendy layers. Raise your hand if you ever tried getting that perfect Aquafresh-ish bed of curvy goodness on your brush. How the heck did the do that?!
Kudos to them for a great marketing campaign, but seriously . . . how much do we really need to use?
How much toothpaste is enough?
After much experimentation I believe I have found the perfect amount of toothpaste per use.
Try it yourself using various amounts until you arrive at your choicest gob, which I bet is less than you’re using now.
You’ll be surprised how little you need and how far the paste goes when amounts are reduced. The scant looking quantity in the photo produces plenty of lather, especially if you’re using a traditional fluoride toothpaste (they’re very frothy). If you prefer a fluoride free “health store” toothpaste as I do, your lather is less but still sufficient.
Do we need toothpaste at all?
As I eluded to earlier my holistic dentist was part of the reason I cut back. In a recent visit he told me toothpaste is unnecessary. That piqued my interest so I tried it out; here’s what I discovered:
- it’s true: you don’t need toothpaste, using a brush and water alone cleans your teeth
- breath test: while it does get the plaque off, brushing without paste doesn’t cut breath the same
- Do both: I find it best to brush with paste when I want fresh breath and without when I’m just looking for a quick cleaning.
Michele was right
So there you have it – the answer to the age old question, “How much toothpaste per use is enough?”
What do you know . . . Michele was right all along!
Note: Be sure to brush at least twice and floss at least once each day, it is the best dental insurance you can employ.
PS… don’t tell Aquafresh we’re rebelling against their beautiful layers of gleaming Aquafreshiness, it will only lead to a new and improved marketing campaign that might just pull the wool over our eyes for another several decades.
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