At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, your Orthodontist in Lents, Portland Oregon, we hope that if any of our patients walked into their bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet they’d (hopefully) find a tube of toothpaste. While toothpaste does a lot to protect the health of your teeth and gums, it also has a number of other useful functions you can use around the house. From cleaning your shoes to eliminating pimples, toothpaste makes a solid case for being the one thing you never leave the house without. Here are some of the many uses for toothpaste.

Relieves Irritation

Spend a few minutes outside during the dog days of summer, especially around sunrise or sunset, and odds are you’ll end up with at least a few bothersome bug bites. Even though most bug bites will only cause you to irritatingly itch, you can help to ease your minor suffering by applying a little toothpaste to the affected area.

Rub a fingertip’s worth of toothpaste onto the bug bite or insect sting to stop any itching and decrease swelling. Toothpaste also acts as a drying agent, which helps wounds heal more quickly when applied to blisters or sores. Toothpaste works best when applied overnight.

Soothes Burns

For lesser burns, which involve anything that doesn’t include an open wound, toothpaste can offer temporary relief from any burning sensation. Delicately dab a small amount of toothpaste on the burn area immediately after the redness develops. The toothpaste will help to minimize any weeping of the skin caused by the burn, in addition to easing discomfort.

Removes Pimples

As previously mentioned, toothpaste acts as a drying agent and can help to remove oil from clogged pores that cause facial blemishes. Just apply the toothpaste prior to going to bed, wash it off in the morning, and you should see a noticeable decrease in the size of the blemish.

Nail Polisher

Toothpaste is designed to strengthen your teeth’s enamel. Since your fingernails are also made from enamel, it only makes sense that toothpaste can help repair damaged nails. By scrubbing a little toothpaste onto your fingernails, you can restore any lost luster to dry, cracked nails. Just spend two minutes brushing your nails like you would your teeth, and you’ll see a noticeable difference within a few weeks.

Hand Cleaner

Have you noticed your hands tend to stink after preparing aromatic foods like garlic, onions, or fish? Well, you can rid your hands of those funky aromas in ways soap cannot by brushing your hands and fingertips with toothpaste. Unlike soap, which just covers the smell, toothpaste helps to extract the foul-smelling oils from your hands so they no longer smell. Once you’ve finished brushing, just wash the toothpaste and oils off your hands.

Shoe Polisher

If you own a pair of scuffed-up, white leather shoes, a little toothpaste can help them look as good as new. Just apply the toothpaste directly to the scuffed area, scrub with a brush, and wipe clean. The toothpaste will even help to make your shoes look whiter, just like with your teeth.

Wall Repair

Have you left your little artist with a box of crayons for a minute only to come back and discover a new drawing on the wall? Worry not, as toothpaste can once again come to your aid. Rub some toothpaste onto a damp cloth before gently scrubbing the area clean. Just like that, you’ve cleaned the canvas.

Brightens Jewelry

When free of tarnish, silver can act as a wonderfully simple but elegant addition to any outfit. If your silver jewelry has lost a little of its shine, just rub the piece with toothpaste and allow it to rest overnight. In the morning, wipe the piece clean with a soft cloth, and watch it sparkle. So the next time you pick up a tube of toothpaste, your Orthodontist at Senestraro Family Orthodontics hopes you’ll have a few more ideas of what it can be used for.