General DentistryToothpaste

What Should I Do If I Get Toothpaste In My Eye?

If you get toothpaste in your eye, it won’t be fun. That minty freshness is great for your teeth but not so much for your eyes.

Don’t worry, though. I have all the information you need to handle this situation safely and easily. I cover it all From immediate steps to prevent it in the future.

This guide will tell you what to do if you ever find yourself in this situation. Accidents happen, and getting toothpaste in your eye can be quite uncomfortable.

Doing the right thing quickly is key to avoiding any problems. I’ll walk you through all the steps you need to take.

Understanding the Situation: Toothpaste in Your Eye

How Does It Happen?

Toothpaste accidentally getting into your eye can occur during various activities, such as brushing your teeth energetically or assisting a child with their oral hygiene routine.

The sudden squeeze of the toothpaste tube can sometimes lead to an unexpected splatter that reaches your eye.

Is It Harmful?

While toothpaste is not meant for your eyes, most formulas are mild and not highly toxic.

However, the ingredients can still cause irritation and discomfort. It’s important to treat the situation with care.

The Ingredients: What’s in Your Toothpaste?

To address this concern, let’s explore the typical ingredients found in toothpaste. Most toothpaste contains fluoride, detergents, abrasives, humectants, flavoring agents, and preservatives.

While these components are safe for oral use, the question remains whether they are equally safe for accidental eye contact.

The Eye’s Defense Mechanism

Our eyes are equipped with a remarkable defense mechanism—the tear film. This film lubricates the eye and acts as a barrier against potential irritants.

The tear film comprises three layers: the outer oily layer, the middle watery layer, and the inner mucous layer.

This intricate design is aimed at protecting the eye from various foreign substances.

What Should You Do If You Get Toothpaste in Your Eye?

Experiencing that stinging sensation when toothpaste accidentally enters your eye can be alarming. However, here’s what you should do to minimize any discomfort and ensure your vision remains safe:

Immediate Actions to Take:

Accidents happen, and getting toothpaste in your eye is one of them. The first step is to remain calm. Panicking can exacerbate the situation.

Quickly close your eyes and blink several times. This helps flush out some of the toothpaste naturally.

Rinse Your Eye Thoroughly:

The first and most immediate step to take is to rinse your eyes thoroughly with lukewarm water. Tilt your head to the side and let the water flow gently over your eye, flushing out the toothpaste.

Do not use hot or cold water, as extreme temperatures might exacerbate the irritation. Keep your eye open during rinsing to ensure the toothpaste is completely washed out.

Use Saline Solution:

After rinsing your eye, use a sterile saline solution to further cleanse your eye and soothe discomfort.

The saline solution is gentle and mimics the natural fluids in your eyes, making it a safe choice for flushing out irritants.

Use an eye cup or an eyewash bottle to apply the saline solution. You can use clean, lukewarm water if you don’t have saline solution.

Avoid Rubbing Your Eye:

While it might be tempting to rub your eye to relieve the discomfort, avoid doing so.

Rubbing your eye can exacerbate the irritation and potentially introduce more bacteria, leading to infections. Instead, let the rinsing and saline solution work in removing the toothpaste.

Use Artificial Tears:

Artificial tears or lubricating eye drops can help alleviate any residual irritation or dryness caused by the toothpaste.

These drops can provide a protective barrier over your eye’s surface, promoting healing and reducing discomfort.

Look for preservative-free drops and follow the recommended dosage instructions.

Blink and Tear Naturally:

Your eyes have a natural mechanism to produce tears, which help flush out foreign substances.

Blink frequently to encourage the production of tears, which can assist in getting rid of any leftover toothpaste particles.

Avoid wearing contact lenses until your eye feels completely comfortable again.

Apply a Cold Compress:

If your eye feels irritated or slightly swollen, applying a cold compress can provide relief.

Wrap a clean cloth around an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables and gently place it over your closed eye for 10-15 minutes.

This can help reduce any redness and swelling caused by the irritation.

Consult an Eye Doctor:

If your eye continues to feel uncomfortable, red or irritated after following the above steps, it’s advisable to consult an eye doctor.

They can examine your eye and provide professional guidance on further treatment if necessary.

Seek Medical Attention if Needed:

In most cases, the discomfort caused by getting toothpaste in your eye will subside after following the above steps.

However, if you experience persistent redness, severe pain, vision changes, or other symptoms, seeking medical attention is essential.

An eye care professional can assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment.

Remove Contact Lenses:

Take them out immediately if you wear contact lenses. Toothpaste particles can get trapped under the lens, causing more irritation.

Prevention Tips

Preventing accidents like getting toothpaste in your eye is always better than dealing with the aftermath. To minimize the risk, consider these tips:

  • Be Mindful While Brushing: Pay attention while brushing your teeth to avoid splattering toothpaste.
  • Use Gentle Pressure: Apply gentle pressure on the toothbrush to prevent excessive splattering.
  • Keep Your Eyes Closed: When rinsing your mouth and face, keep your eyes closed to prevent accidental splashes.
  • Use Less Toothpaste: A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is sufficient for effective cleaning. Using excess toothpaste increases the chances of it splattering.
  • Teach Kids Proper Brushing Techniques: If you have children, teach them how to brush their teeth to minimize the risk of accidents.
  • Use Toothpaste Dispensers: Toothpaste dispensers can help control the amount of toothpaste and reduce the chances of accidental splatters.

Assessing the Severity

Redness and Irritation:

Some initial redness and irritation are common after getting toothpaste in your eye. This should subside within a few hours.

Blurred Vision:

Blurry vision might occur temporarily due to the irritation, but it should improve as you continue to blink and flush your eyes.

Sensitivity to Light:

You might experience sensitivity to light for a short time. If the sensitivity persists, it’s advisable to seek medical attention.


If you get toothpaste in your eye, don’t panic! Just flush it with clean water, and don’t be tempted to rub it. If it still feels uncomfortable, try a saline solution.

If the irritation doesn’t go away, it’s time to get help from a professional.

To avoid this scenario in the future, take extra care when brushing your teeth or helping your kids do the same.

Knowing what to do when unexpected accidents happen can help ease the discomfort.


Can toothpaste in the eye cause permanent damage?

Toothpaste is generally mild and not likely to cause permanent damage to the eye. However, if you experience prolonged discomfort or vision changes, it’s best to consult an eye specialist.

How long should I rinse my eye if toothpaste gets in it?

With lukewarm water, you would help if you rinsed your eye for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This duration helps ensure that all toothpaste particles are thoroughly washed out.

Can I use any water to rinse my eyes?

It’s recommended to use clean, lukewarm tap water for rinsing. Avoid using extremely cold or hot water, which can cause additional discomfort.

What if I wear contact lenses?

Remove the lens immediately if you wear contact lenses and toothpaste gets in your eye. This prevents the toothpaste from getting trapped under the lens.

Is it normal to experience redness after getting toothpaste in the eye?

Yes, it’s common to experience temporary redness and irritation. However, if the redness persists or worsens, consult an eye specialist.

How can I prevent toothpaste accidents in the future?

Using the appropriate amount of toothpaste, being mindful while brushing, and teaching children proper brushing techniques are effective ways to prevent toothpaste accidents.

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Dr. Ahtsham

I am a dentist. I am working hard to keep this blog updated for those suffering from tooth pain. It is my goal to make this blog the source for all information regarding tooth pain. Feel free to contact me if you are suffering from toothache.

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