Can Adults Use Kids’ Toothpaste?


by lawrence fung, DDS, friendly guest contributor

published: may 16, 2022


We make a whoooole wide range of oral care products, and as a result we get a whoooole wide range of questions about them. A common thing that we see popping up is adults asking us about using kids’ toothpaste. Is it ok for an adult to use a kid’s paste? Is it effective? Do you have to renounce your driver’s license and order chicken tenders when at fancy restaurants?

All kidding aside, you can absolutely use kids’ toothpaste. Read on to find out why using it is nothing to be ashamed of and why you might want to consider it.

Is it Safe for Adults to Brush with Kids’ Toothpaste?

A primary part of making an effective toothpaste is ensuring that it has a suitable amount of abrasivity. Having just enough abrasiveness (but not too much) means that the paste will help to effectively brush away plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. And in this fundamentally important respect, kids’ toothpaste and adult toothpaste are very similar: whether you’re balancing your portfolio or still balancing blocks on the floor, our kid’s pastes are abrasive enough to clean your teeth.

Similarly, while we can’t speak for all kids’ toothpastes, any of our hello® kid-friendly products that include fluoride pack enough enamel-strengthening wallop to be effective for adults as well. So from a functional perspective, hello kids and adult toothpastes can be used interchangeably. The main difference you’ll find is in the flavor department – and for some card-carrying adults out there, having more choice in deciding which flavor they brush with is a big-time win.

Why So Much Mint?

Before we talk about mint-free options, it’s probably best to first clear up a couple of “mintsconceptions” about minty pastes.

We’ve heard some theories that mint is included in toothpastes as a way to cover up the taste of ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (an ingredient we at hello don’t use) and fluoride – but the fact of the matter is that these ingredients are tasteless to begin with – so this story doesn’t hold water (or mean spit, if you will).

Using pastes that contain SLS can lead to an enhanced sensation of bitterness after brushing and a suppressed ability to taste sweetness (the so-called “orange juice effect”), but it’s not related to SLS itself imparting a bitter flavor. The truth is that lots of people just dig the taste of mint and the feeling of freshness it helps to impart, and that’s why it’s in many of our pastes.

So, while many of us crave a minty-cool mouthfeel during our brushing sessions, some folks aren’t crazy about the taste of mint. And to those people we say: we see you, we hear you, we respect you. The only mint we don’t like around here is judgemint. And just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t still experiment (vs. experimint) and have fun like a kid… or use their paste.

That’s why for you, non-lover-of-mint, we have our Unicorn Sparkle Fluoride Toothpaste that has bubble gum flavour and magical sparkles.

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