It is definitely possible for you to have too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to toothpaste and fluoride. Not only can it make brushing teeth uncomfortable for your child, it can also be unhealthy or even counterproductive if you use too much toothpaste. So how much should you use?

Less Is More
When you are still helping your child brush, you will need to be very careful with how much toothpaste you put on their brush. If your child is still under the age of two, you need to be very careful. Put only a sliver of toothpaste on the brush. It should be about the size of a grain of rice. Yes, that small! Anything larger and your baby’s mouth will be overwhelmed with suds.

After the age of 2, but while you are still helping them brush, you can upgrade to a dollop the size of a pea, sometimes even less! It is a good idea to simply gradually increase the amount of toothpaste as they get older. While this is still small, it is by far enough toothpaste, especially for such little teeth!

As your child gets older and moves to brushing by themselves and soon into adulthood, they should still never use more than a pea-sized ball of toothpaste. Although TV commercials try to trick you into using more, you really don’t need anything more than a pea.

Spit or Swallow?
While your child may really like the taste of toothpaste and therefore want to swallow it, make sure that your child knows they aren’t allowed to swallow the toothpaste—especially if it has fluoride in it. While fluoride can be very good for your teeth, it also can be bad for your child’s teeth and health when ingested in excess. It is better to keep it on the teeth and working for your child instead of against him.

Teaching your child to brush can be difficult, but the amount of toothpaste is one of the most important aspects of brushing. Not only will it help keep your child healthy, but using the right amount of toothpaste can, in the long run, save you a lot of money on toothpaste!