How long will a travel-size tube of toothpaste last on a long-distance hike (or any other circumstance for that matter)? We analyzed four different tubes of travel-sized toothpaste to find out. We measured overall weight of the new tubes and then weighed various quantities of toothpaste to illustrate what different volumes of toothpaste looks like.
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The American Dental Association recommends a pea-size amount of toothpaste, which is about 0.25 grams of toothpaste. From this data we were able to calculate the theoretical number of uses in each tube of toothpaste.
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Four common travel-size toothpaste tubes.
I used a calibrated balance to weigh the toothpaste. Here you can see 0.515 grams of toothpaste, which is a larger volume of toothpaste than recommended by the American Dental Association.
This large application of toothpaste (0.80 grams) is more than three times the application recommended by the American Dental Association. This overuse of toothpaste will deplete a travel-size (24 grams) tube of toothpaste in about two weeks when brushing twice a day.
This pea-size application (0.25 grams) of toothpaste is the amount recommended by the American Dental Association. This is the optimal amount of toothpaste to use and will deplete a travel-size (24 grams) tube of toothpaste in about 48 days, or almost 7 weeks, when brushing twice a day.
This medium application of toothpaste (0.52 grams) is more than two times the application recommended by the American Dental Association. This overuse of toothpaste will deplete a travel-size (24 gram) tube of toothpaste in about three weeks when brushing twice a day.
This tiny application (0.08 grams) of toothpaste should not be used because it is less than the American Dental Association recommended amount.
How much toothpaste should I use?
Different brands of travel-size toothpaste tubes are very similar. Any one of them should last for about 48 days if you use the recommended pea-sized amount twice a day. ( To determine the number of applications for your tube of toothpaste, take the content weight in grams and divide by 0.25.)
Money-saving Refill Tip
You can save money by refilling your travel toothpaste tube from a larger toothpaste tube.
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Place the empty travel toothpaste tube firmly against the larger toothpaste tube. Gently squeeze the larger toothpaste tube to transfer the toothpaste.