The Toothpaste Storage Hack That Has TikTok Divided

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If you have kids who often make a mess in the bathroom when brushing their teeth, this hack may sound like a great idea. As showcased by TikToker Kirsten McCready, decanting toothpaste tubes into a hand soap dispenser can help your kids easily dispense their toothpaste onto their toothbrush. To make the paste thinner so it can pass through the pump, McCready mixes it with Listerine mouthwash containing fluoride and shakes it thoroughly. Instead of having to fiddle with the toothpaste cap and difficult-to-squeeze tube, your children may have an easier time simply pressing down on the dispenser, which may keep your bathroom cleaner.

Some of the commenters think this is an amazing idea. One person writes, "Best thing I saw on TikTok!" and another adds, "Wow. Such a great idea. My kids forget to put the lids back on and toothpaste gets everywhere!" However, others have their concerns; In fact, there are so many negative comments that someone else writes, "I thought it was a good idea until I read the comments."

Concerns about this hack

Many commenters warn about the dangers of mixing fluoride with toothpaste or using mouthwash. Some say that you shouldn't use fluoride at all, another commented, "Listerine causes cancer. What are you doing." While neither of these claims is proven, it seems that a lot of people have their opinions on McCready's choice of products. Others say that this hack is only an issue because these products shouldn't be used simultaneously. "Listerine causes enamel decay [so] you should use it before brushing teeth." Another problem is that some say kids shouldn't use Listerine at all, as it's not suited for those under six years old.

Others have issues with the type of container TikToker Kirsten McCready decants into, as it's a clear, glass hand soap dispenser with a metal top. There are some health concerns, as one person writes, "I did this and it work[ed] great for a few months, then a long black slimy thing came out of the tip with the toothpaste. No joke," and another person adds, "I used a similar dispenser — it pumped out rusted toothpaste. Beware." Further, some point out that most toothpaste becomes less effective when exposed to light. "Have you ever noticed that all toothpaste comes in packaging you can't see through? It's light sensitive. Fine idea but need[s] a different jar." 

Alternatives to this hack

While decanting your toothpaste into another container would keep your bathroom clean, this hack could cause more problems than it solves. If you still want to try it and you're not concerned about the risks of fluoride, use a dispenser that's not clear or metal, and make sure to clean it often. Further, a smaller size may work better because once toothpaste is pressed out of the tube, it becomes less effective as the preservatives start to break down. 

However, if the comments above concern you, there are other options you can try. For instance, you could purchase a toothpaste dispenser from Amazon, which holds your toothpaste tube and automatically dispenses the right amount when you place your toothbrush underneath it. This would still keep your bathroom clean but would also be much easier to use. There are also types that come with two toothpaste tube dispensers, an area to hold your toothbrushes and a place to store things like razors or hairbrushes. Also sold on Amazon, this option is wall mounted, which would save you counter space.