How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Toothpaste Applied by Parents & Children


The Amount of Toothpaste Applied by Kids and Parents

Nearly anything in the bathroom is a potential victim to kid-level, wasteful application. I’m highlighting toothpaste here, but don’t forget soap, shampoo, toilet paper, band-aids, cotton swabs, water, you name it.

Apart from these products appearing to children to be a never-ending supplies that are complete free, there’s also the fun of it. Look at it from their perspective. Maybe to a kid, a shampoo bottle is a sacred vessel containing the souls of a thousand melted gummy bears, and a kid is simply performing the noble duty of releasing their spirits in a ritual of bubbles and squishy hand sounds.

It’s not just their imagination’s fault, too. Dental floss just looks way too much like the grappling hook cable Luke used to swing with Leia across that big drop in Star Wars. Tubes of things that squirt out jelly-like worms of delight really can be indistinguishable from toy slime factories or Play-Doh fun sets. It’s no wonder then.

Maybe as parents, we’re contributing to the problem… maybe not. Maybe they are just goofy, sloppy wasters of our hard earned money.


Instructional Diagrams
Instructional Diagrams as far as the eye can see.

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26 Responses to “Toothpaste Applied by Parents & Children”

  1. Erich says:

    I found toothpaste in the toilet, on the floor, in the bathtub… None on the damned toothbrush.

    • Andy says:

      If I saw toothpaste the toilet, in my household, my first thought would be something to do with dietary shenanigans. “Okaaaaay, who’s been eating styrofoam pellets!?!” that sort of deal. πŸ˜‰

  2. thehippydad says:

    Hahahaha I’m certain that both of my brothers and I exhausted a good 75% of the NJ/NY area’s supply of toothpaste during the late 70’s/early 80’s in just this fashion.

  3. mktaj says:

    if you ever watched my son brush his teeth, you’d know that the picture is definitely NOT an exaggeration… πŸ™‚

    • Andy says:

      I was kind of figuring. Ha ha! But I felt I had to put that in there for all the parents that would have written in saying that their kids use the perfect amount every single time and they even measure it with a calibrated scale to verify the perfectness of the application.

  4. Christina says:


    That’s my son’s only excuse with the shampoo bottle.

    And to him, that’s the only one necessary…because, really…how can you deny the entertaining, translucent, floaty, soap-tasting, wonder called…


    With the toothpaste, it probably doesn’t help that we introduce them to brushing their teeth with stuff that tastes like melted Geoffery Bubble Gum from Toys R Us oh so very long ago…

  5. MotherDuck says:

    My kids seem to be getting out their inner Jackson Pollock with toothpaste. Their sink sometimes looks like toothpaste has exploded. It’s still cute when they blow their breathe at me after brushing to prove that they got some of it in the right place.

    • Andy says:

      I love that, the breath test. But I’ve got a near 12 and a near 14 year old, so there was a point where they would actually just smudge a dab of toothpaste in their mouths and then breath on me to prove they’d brushed. I caught on when I smelled mint foul breath and investigated… finding completely dry toothbrushes!!!

  6. Karen says:

    I always said I would rather have toothpaste smeared than other things… BUT – some toothpastes are mildly abrasive and can help clean up that scum that always seems to follow them around the bathroom. Plus the room smells a lot nice afterwards.

  7. Ashley says:

    I used to go through a bottle of shampoo a week turning our bathtub into a slip n slide when I was a kid.

  8. Gale says:

    And don’t forget the paper cups for the water to brush your teeth. Ever since I came in and found every single one layed out on the counter with various levels of water in them, I hide them and dish them out myself come brushing time.

    • Andy says:

      We don’t have paper cups in the bathroom but we had a drinking water cooler that we had to do that with. The “out of reach” places we had to put things kept getting higher and higher as they grew. Ah, memories.

      • Gale says:

        Yeah, things just gravitate higher and higher until nearly everything is on top of the refrigerator, and then they learn to climb!

  9. Ben says:

    Your kids might make less mess (or more) by turning brushing time into a mini disco by using the free Brush DJ app!
    The app plays 2 minutes of music taken at random for your Apple or Android device to encourage brushing for an effective length of time and making the task fun!

  10. Karen says:

    My niece put an entire box of Mr Bubbles in my dad’s jet-tub……it was hilarious to me and my dad. My step-mom was furious, but if you could have been there, we couldn’t see Tanya for all the bubbles, but we sure could hear her giggles. She’d suddenly pop up, covered in bubbles and laugh uncontrollably. I have never forgot that, it was truly a priceless moment. I made sure after that, whenever I had her for an overnight visit, to buy a box of Mr Bubbles. Small price to pay for a happy child.

  11. Laurie says:

    That picture is hilarious!!

  12. Mimi says:

    My son likes to suck on the tube… The I’m sure his toothbrush would look like the illustration if I didn’t supervise brushing time. Lol I remember using large amounts of toothpaste, shampoo, soap… Lol

  13. Pete Morris says:

    You’re certainly not alone in this observation.

    I once came into the bathroom to find my son concocting a mixture of toothpaste, shaving foam, and various expensive moisturisers in our bathroom sink (topped up with a spot of mouthwash for good measure)!

    Needless to say, we’ve found a nice lockable cabinet to use these days!

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