The amount of toothpaste you need to brush your teeth doesn't always match what you see in TV commercials, where the actor squeezes a huge swirl of toothpaste onto the toothbrush. The amount you use and how many times a day you brush make a huge difference in the how long a travel size toothpaste will last you, so here are some calculations to figure out what you can expect from your typical smaller toothpastes.
Toothpaste Tube Size
Sizes vary according to the brand of toothpaste. Colgate® Optic White® Toothpaste, for example, comes in a travel-size of 3.4 ounces, which is perfect for taking with you when you travel. It's tiny and packs comfortably, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) baggage allowance shows that you can even keep it in your carry-on when you're flying.
How Much to Use
You'd think you need a lot based on some toothpaste commercials on television. However, recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site state that you only need a "pea-sized" amount for effective cleaning. Assuming we're talking about a full-grown pea, that equates to around 1 cubic centimeter or 0.6 cubic inches per brushing, according to Dr. Alena Spielberg.
How Often to Brush
The ADA recommends that adults brush at least twice a day for two minutes, using a soft-bristled brush. Depending on your personal oral health concerns, such as ongoing orthodontic treatment, you might need to brush more often.
Number of Brushings
A basic conversion shows that one U.S. ounce converts to 1.8 cubic inches, so you can get up to three brushings from each ounce of toothpaste. For a travel size toothpaste with 3.4 ounces in the tube, that means you can expect to get 9 to 10 brushings. Depending on how many times you brush each day, it's fairly simple to determine how long it will last you in terms of time.
Other Dental Care Travel Options
Brushing isn't the only dental care option to consider when you're traveling. Flossing daily helps to prevent the build up of plaque, and mouthwash, like Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™, comes in handy 2-ounce bottles for travel purposes, kills germs on contact and keeps working for up to 12 hours. You aren't completely reliant on toothpaste to maintain your dental hygiene regime.
Choose your travel size toothpaste carefully, based on your oral care needs. With the variety of products available to choose from, finding one to suit you shouldn't be too difficult, and now you can calculate how many tubes you need based on the length of your trip. Happy traveling!